Shazam for Mosquitos. Wait–What?

According to people who have time to investigate such things on a deep scientific level, simple cell phones can distinguish different species of mosquito by its hum. This is the product of research from Stanford University and their Bio-X Institute.

The students behind the project proved that a cellphone can record mosquito wing beats with enough accuracy to tell one type of mosquito from another. Even old flip phones can perform this trick.  The code name for the project is “Shazam for Mosquitos.”

Okay, fine, but so what? They maintain that this discovery can help in fighting mosquito-borne diseases. Keep in mind that the most deadly species to human life is, in fact, the mosquito. Bites from those buggers sicken and kill far, far more humans than another other living thing on the planet.

Researchers hope to have people from around the world send in sound samples of mosquitos so they can create and audio database. Using a phone’s built-in GPS, the dangerous types can be globally mapped. Ultimately, anyone concerned about zika, dengue, malaria, West Nile, chikungunya or any other mosquito-borne nastiness can just look at their phone to find out if they’re in any kind of danger.

More at the New York Times.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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