Scientists in fields as diverse as genetic engineering and astrophysics are competing to create the most efficient way to kill mosquitos. Trying to eradicate malaria, a disease carried by the annoying little insects, the researchers are inspired (and some funded) by Seattle geek think tank Intellectual Ventures, where scifi author Neal Stephenson also works. The hope is that these scientists can come up with a novel way to eliminate malaria that doesn't rely on bug poison.

A great article on the research in the Wall St. Journal captures the DiY flavor of this endeavor:

"We'd be delighted if we destabilize the human-mosquito balance of power," says Jordin Kare, an astrophysicist who once worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the birthplace of some of the deadliest weapons known to man. More recently he worked on the mosquito laser, built from parts bought on eBay.

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via Wall St. Journal