Diagnosing malaria can be a bit of a pain, especially when trying to test in remote parts of the world where such tests are most needed. For one, it requires a standard blood smear test with the right chemical reagents and a high-quality microscope. It also should be done by a lab technician with proper training, and each test takes 15 minutes and costs roughly $1. Oh -- and the tests spoil in hot climates if not properly stored.
When you hear the phrase "fossilized, blood-engorged mosquito," your mind may jump to images of dinosaurs roaming freely in "Jurassic Park."
It's a nice dream, but one that is once again dashed by actual science. Still, researchers have come across the incredibly cool discovery of a fossilized, blood-engorged mosquito. It just won't be leading to the creation of any velociraptors.
The mosquito is the first this old to be found with blood in its belly. It dates to the Eocene era, about 46 million years ago -- well after the extinction of the dinos we know and love.… Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months.
- Update: Homeless guy accepted the NYC programmer's offer to learn how to code.
- "Boyfriend Tracker" app raises stir in Brazil.
- Whole Foods debases itself with social-media flash sales.
- Whole Foods has a record store now. Oh no?
- Whole Foods hack: Employees can give you free stuff at their discretion.
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Smartphone shootout: Which phone has fastest camera?
- Apple and the iPhone 5S: As good as gold?
- Why a gold iPhone makes sense.
- Brooklyn art gallery will use crotch shots in upcoming photo exhibition.
In the dead heat of summertime here in Georgia, it's nearly impossible to walk more than 10 paces without a hungry mosquito latching onto you. Bloodcurdling footage, captured by French researchers, delivers an extremely close view of what exactly happens when a skeeter strikes -- and after watching, you may never want to go outside again.
Let's get this out of the way first: The following horrifying videos -- full of mosquito mouth parts moving in ways you probably never imagined -- aren't a high-tech peepshow designed to freak you out.… Read more
Aside from tick-slaying robots, what we all need for summer is mosquito-slaying robots.
That could happen in the future, but for now there's Kite Patch, a square you stick on your clothing to make you practically invisible to mosquitoes for up to 48 hours.
Female mosquitoes just don't get to have any fun. They mate only once, lay eggs, and eventually die.
In an effort to combat malaria, researchers at Imperial College London hope to take advantage of the female mosquito's plight--and reduce the mosquito population--by engineering spermless males. They say the key is that the females don't seem able to tell the difference; they still mate with the sterile males and proceed to lay eggs that never hatch.
This is an improvement over previous attempts to engineer sterile males, the team said, because that process often exposed the males to … Read more
We love you, Download.com users, but we don't love you enough to take our laptop outside and see if Anti Mosquito actually works. Oh, we would if we thought there was a chance that it might actually keep mosquitoes away; they are the bane of our existence during the summer, and even as we write this we are trying to avoid scratching the multiple bites that we currently have. But do even the most basic research on this topic and you'll find that there's no evidence that programs or devices that emit sound do anything to … Read more
You can actually find useful things on eBay.
This has undoubtedly been proven by an extremely clever person, Nathan Myhrvold. At the TED 2010 conference, Myhrvold revealed that his invention company, Intellectual Ventures, had developed a mean, heartless, and very sophisticated laser gun, one that might remind you of your favorite science fiction movie. (Which, in my case, is "Galaxy Quest.")
This laser gun has, unlike so many other guns, a rather positive purpose. It kills mosquitoes. It zaps them like the deadly little flying worms that they are.
In fact, on the Intellectual Ventures site, there is some mind- and body-blowing footage of a mosquito being dispatched to its Hades by this gun. (I have embedded it here because it's just so mesmerizing.)
One of the more ingenious aspects to this fine Death Star creation is that it was made from parts bought on eBay and other similar sites. The components largely consisted of parts from such devices as laser printers, Blu-ray Disc writers, camcorders, and video game consoles.… Read more
With news of a new kind of dengue emerging in Singapore, this sounds like a job for...a mosquito laser zapper! Punnily dubbed a "weapon of mosquito destruction" (WMD), scientists are finally declaring a Cold War against malaria and all mosquito-related ailments.
This particular one appears to take a Death Star leaf out of the "Star War" book, with the laser designed to detect the audio frequency of beating wings, zero in on the culprit, and burn it on the spot. The good news is the WMD will be capable of sweeping an entire area or … Read more