Trained, bomb-sniffing mice outperform existing technologies in a recent study.
BioExplorers has launched a system that is intended to replace dangerous body scanning systems and bomb sniffing dogs for good. It features trained mice living inside what looks like a regular metal detector, continually sniffing the air as people walk through. If they catch a whiff of any explosives, they run to a side chamber and trigger an alarm. In a trail in Israel, the mice successfully smelled out all 22 planted explosives in a group of over 1,000 people, with a false positive rate of less than 0.1 percent.
Mice offer certain advantages to other systems. Their upkeep/replacement is relatively inexpensive and training them is easy. Mice also have more offactory sensors than their leading competition in the space; dogs.