Saturday, December 03, 2005

"Wasps Could Replace Bomb, Drug Dogs"

This sounds promising, using insects to detect chemicals.

"What we have ... is a technology-free organism that you can quickly program and use in a highly mobile way," said [U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist Joe] Lewis, who believes the Wasp Hound could be used to search for explosives at airports, locate bodies, monitor crops for toxins and detect diseases such as cancer from the odors in a person's breath.

"They're very cheap to produce and very sensitive," [University of Georgia agricultural engineer Glen] Rains said of the wasps. "Dogs take months to train and they need a specific handler. Wasps can be trained on the spot." [ellipsis in original]

I like and applaud the idea, but don't let the vegans know. They think honey farmers enslave bees. What magnificent paroxysms they would suffer if they knew humans were exploiting wasps just to keep other humans alive.

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