Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bomb-, Drug-Sniffing Mice Are the Future

Folks concerned about full-body scanners at airports and bomb-sniffing dogs may soon have the option to get screened by rodents! Which brings up a whole 'nother level of concern, but we digress. Israeli scientists have created a detector, which looks like the full-body scanner you're used to seeing at airports, BUT with three concealed cartridges each containing eight specially trained mice that detect bombs and drugs.
According to the New Scientist the mice work four-hour shifts and are more accurate than using dogs and x-ray machines, the researchers claim. Air is pumped into the cartridges every four hours so the mice can breathe. When the mice sense traces of drugs they run to a side chamber where the trigger an alarm, the magazine said. Eran Lumbroso, and inventor whose company BioExplorers is hopeful a larger company will help with the final stages of development, said: "It is as if they are smelling a cat and escaping. We detect the escape." The device was tested last year on 1,000 shoppers in a Tel Aviv shopping mall when the mice successfully picked out 22 people carrying mock explosives. The idea may be appealing to airport authorities who feel that body scanners invade customers privacy.
Frankly, we prefer a pat-down. Ehaow!
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