Sometimes Nathan Myhrvold is annoying in his attempts to patent and develop new gizmos, sometimes he's comical, and sometimes he's just plain awesome. The multi-millionaire and former Microsoft chief technology officer has hyped a number of wacky, unrealized schemes since founding his Intellectual Ventures IP fund seven years ago. Among them, offsetting global warming with a giant space hose, controlling Gulf Coast hurricanes with his own fleet of boats, and writing the world's most complicated and wonky cookbook.
So next, logically, he's turning his attention to mosquitoes with--get ready for it--lasers! It's a win-win situation (except for the bugs): Everybody hates mosquitoes, and everyone knows that lasers are cool. Moreover, malaria-bearing mosquitoes sicken over 350 million people per year and kill about one million people per year (source: CDC), mostly in Third World countries. It is a horrible disease that Myhrvold's friend and former boss, Bill Gates, is hoping to eradicate over at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. So we say to Mr. Myhrvold, job well done, sir. And to the mosquitoes, we hope you bastards all die a swift, laser-y death.
Demonstration video after the jump, courtesy of Intellectual Ventures.