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Bomb-Sniffing Cyborg Locusts Successfully Detect Explosives

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  • Bomb-Sniffing Cyborg Locusts Successfully Detect Explosives




     


     


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    Scientists funded by the United States Navy have revealed they have successfully augmented locusts and hijacked their ability to sense a wide range of chemical odors, including explosives.




     




    According to a preprint research paper published on February 11 in BioRxiv, the insects have been used to detect gases released by substances like ammonium nitrate, commonly used by terrorist groups for bomb-making, and the military explosives TNT and RDX. Individual locusts were able to successfully sniff out incendiary material, but the results improved when the scientists compiled data from seven or more locusts, where the detection capability was distributed across a mini-swarm.






     




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    The researchers, from Washington University in St. Louis, declined to comment for this story. But their paper describes how they transformed the bugs into would-be bomb detectors by implanting electrodes into the insects’ brains. That allowed researchers to analyze the neural activity of the locusts when they encountered certain substances.




     




    Four years ago, the U.S. Office of Naval Research allocated $750,000 in funding for the project, but at the time, it was not clear whether the plan to turn locusts into bomb detection agents would actually work. The new paper suggests that some version of a biohacked locust could one day be deployed into the field.






     




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    The robot-bound locusts were exposed to five different explosives and a few other chemicals. Within 500 milliseconds of exposure to each substance, a discernible and distinct pattern of activity appeared in the insects’ brains.






     




    Source: https://onezero.medium.com/bomb-snif...s-3bb0bc25959e




    https://futurism.com/the-byte/bomb-s...cyborg-locusts




     




    I don't think these locusts will put bomb-sniffing dogs out of the job, there might be some situations where a dog should/must be used.




    Maybe even train the bomb-sniffing dogs in other things but still work with the police and military.




     



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