Microsoft Helps Build a Mosquito Trap With Brains
Monday, February 20, 2017
A smart trap for mosquitoes? A new high-tech version is promising to catch the bloodsuckers while letting friendlier insects escape — and even record the exact weather conditions when different species emerge to bite.
Whether it really could improve public health is still to be determined.
But when the robotic traps were pilot-tested around Houston last summer, they accurately captured particular mosquito species — those capable of spreading the Zika virus and certain other diseases — that health officials wanted to track, researchers reported Thursday.
The traps act like “a field biologist in real time that’s making choices about the insects it wants to capture,” said Microsoft lead researcher Ethan Jackson, who displayed a prototype trap at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.
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