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Scientists Train Honeybees to Detect Explosives

Members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Stealthy Insect Sensor Project team have been able to harness the honeybee's exceptional olfactory sense by using the bees' natural reaction to nectar, a proboscis extension reflex (sticking out their tongue) to record an unmistakable response to a scent. Using Pavlovian techniques, researchers were able to train the bees to give a positive detection response via the PER when exposed to vapors from TNT, C4, and TATP explosives.

The Stealthy Insect Sensor Project was born out of a global threat from the growing use of improvised explosive devices or IEDs, especially those that present a critical vulnerability for American military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as an emerging danger for civilians worldwide. Current strategies to detect explosives are expensive and, in the case of trained detection dogs, too obtrusive to be used very di

Added: Mar-21-2008 
By: bravo61
Iraq, Afghanistan, Other
Tags: Bees, Explosives, Los Alamos Natiolnal labratory
Location: Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States (load item map)
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