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Bomb and Drug-Sniffing Wasps

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posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 06:51 PM
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Scientists have discovered/invented wasps that react to the smells of explosives, illegal drugs and plant diseases. They can be used to detect illegal drugs or bombs and make a computer trigger an alarm. They can be trained within 30 minutes and bred by the thousands. They might make it to market in five to ten years.


National Geographic: Drug-Sniffing Wasps May Sting Crooks

October 27, 2005



Sneaky drug smugglers and terrorists may soon meet their match: a handheld chemical detector powered by trained wasps. Dubbed the Wasp Hound, the prototype tool houses five parasitic wasps that react to the smells of explosives, illegal drugs, and plant diseases. In theory, the insects' movements set off an alarm to alert authorities.

Researchers believe the insects are nearly ideal for the task of sniffing out bombs. Unlike dogs, the wasps can be trained within 30 minutes and bred by the thousands, providing a near limitless supply.

When the wasps aren't working "they just randomly walk around" in their chamber, Rains said. But when the wasps encounter a smell they have been trained to recognize, the hungry insects congregate near the odor source, hoping for food. The mini-cam tracks their movement, sending pictures to the computer, which analyzes the images and triggers an alarm within 30 seconds.

The wasps can be used for 48 hours. After they complete their shift "we just let them go"

The Wasp Hound has only been tested under laboratory conditions. It needs to be rigorously tested in cold weather, dusty conditions, and other real-world situations before it will be ready for widespread use

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Very interesting concept. "Trained within 30 minutes and bred by the thousands", that´s quite a revolution. Dogs take much longer to train and breed. Hopefully these wasps can be used to detect landmines as well?




posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 07:11 PM
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Every time scientists do things like that they end up doing something dumb like releasing them. I believe the Japanese Beatles are another example of a bug experiment gone bad. Some people simply cannot leave well enough alone.



posted on Oct, 29 2005 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by Indy
Every time scientists do things like that they end up doing something dumb like releasing them. I believe the Japanese Beatles are another example of a bug experiment gone bad. Some people simply cannot leave well enough alone.


What's the story about that?

This is awesome, if only because of the rapid-response capabilities this gives us. 30 minutes is quite impressive. I do worry, as does Indy, about whether there will be any effects from releasing them into the wild. Last thing we need are some wasps lookin' for a fix!


apc

posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 01:13 AM
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What are the real world uses for this?

Wasp swarms on guard at the border?

Can't exactly use it in an airport.

What about when the innocent decide to defend themselves against a scout wasp? Baseball caps fly and the drones fall dead. But then... the others... they're angry. They swarm. Someone's allergic to the sting...



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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Originally posted by apc

Can't exactly use it in an airport.

That´s exactly how they will use them, I think. They are not flying free in a swarm but locked inside small containers. They can then be used to sniff luggage as they use dogs today. Some wasps can be trained to sniff explosives, others drugs, etc. Their movement inside the box/container tells the computer if they´ve detected anything...

Maybe they can be trained to attack people who eat garlic
? Actually, I hope not... as I eat garlic occasionally. Maybe perfume producers can make them attack people wearing their competitors perfume? Or maybe train them to tell the difference between a Big Mac and a burger from Burger King? And then release them...



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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I object to this technology for one reason and one reason only.

Wasps were put on this planet as a cruel joke against me.

They turn up outdorrs when i am eating. They will find their way into my house. They will chase me round the garden, even when I am told to stand still and stop flapping, they will attack me. They will even sting me when i have done nothing to them whatsoever by sneaking up from behind and getting me in the neck.

I hate them!! I hate them so much!! I just wish they were all dead!! (My Annakin impression, incase you didnt get it)

For as long as I can remember, I have been at War with the wasps and I see no end in site until they or myself are dead


Now, I fear, I may lose this war, as they are able to locate my stash and steal it, or perhaps find themselves weapons to do me more harm. Only bad things can come of this. The end is nigh........

Ahem....Anyway...sorry.........



posted on Nov, 8 2005 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by stumason
I object to this technology for one reason and one reason only.

Wasps were put on this planet as a cruel joke against me.

They turn up outdorrs when i am eating. They will find their way into my house. They will chase me round the garden, even when I am told to stand still and stop flapping, they will attack me. They will even sting me when i have done nothing to them whatsoever by sneaking up from behind and getting me in the neck.

I hate them!! I hate them so much!! I just wish they were all dead!! (My Annakin impression, incase you didnt get it)

For as long as I can remember, I have been at War with the wasps and I see no end in site until they or myself are dead


Now, I fear, I may lose this war, as they are able to locate my stash and steal it, or perhaps find themselves weapons to do me more harm. Only bad things can come of this. The end is nigh........

Ahem....Anyway...sorry.........


ditto. what`s even worse is when they go into silent mode and switch their buzz back on just as they reach my ear. the fastest release of adreniline i`ve ever experienced.



posted on Nov, 8 2005 @ 05:03 PM
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I read about this awhile ago in Popular Science but the military was going to use Bees and not wasps. The plan was to release thousands of these trained bees in a area and then see where the Bees group and Bingo you found explosives.




Bees appear even better able than dogs to detect particular odours, and roam large distances from the hive in search of food.

Scientists already know that their behaviour can be conditioned by rewards such as sugar-water.

Combining the scent of the sugar solution with tiny residues of TNT means that bees associate the "molecular trail" of TNT with food.

When a bee carrying this information returns to the hive, it will pass the knowledge of the scent and its location to thousands of other bees.


Bees seem a good choice because a single bee can come back to the hive and do her little bee dance and tell many others were the explosives are. So more bees find the target faster the just each single bee finding the target on its own.

Im not aware that wasps can communicate locations like this

news.bbc.co.uk...

[edit on 8-11-2005 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 08:31 PM
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Here's a thread on bomb sniffing bees.

Air force of bomb sniffing bees. (by deltaboy)



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 08:38 PM
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Here is a link for a slightly slower method of detecting explosives of the landmine kind.

www.worldchanging.com...

They use a type of flower that absorbs Nitrogen Dioxide from the soil(which seaps from Landmines) and changes the color of the flower. It's a GMO so it should be possible to adapt this method for Chemical, Heavy Metal and Biological weapons/contaminants.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 09:49 PM
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Here's a thread on landmine sniffing rats:

Sniffer Rats Seek Out Landmines




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