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Author Topic: Explosive Detection has gone to the Bees!  (Read 813 times)

Offline Wrabbit2000

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Explosive Detection has gone to the Bees!
« on: October 20, 2014, 11:00:02 PM »
Now this ought to be interesting to a variety of folks. I saw a bit about it on a TV show running in the background and then researched more about it. I found it's very real and outright incredible. These little critters beat dogs, paws down, and for a number of reasons. One of the primary ones being that it takes just a very short period to train them. Yup..That's right. Train bees.

Give it a sec and watch the video. It's hard not to laugh at the visual of them lined up in their little electronic cartridges like students at desks. The guy on the video makes the best point to address my own concerns about how the bees feel about all this. Unhappy critters are uncooperative critters and why would bees be any different? So, if it works reliably? I'd say they are okay with their free and easy food brought right to them. Nice work if you can get it, eh?

[youtube]DMGbf6pGOUg[/youtube]

Now, when folks get done smiling at the cute image, and knowing they release them after a short period of using them? There is a real serious side to this too, and this is why Bees may well beat dogs for cost, flexibility in 'last minute need' situations for scents and...well, take a look at the story I found on them.

Quote
As far back as 1999, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Controlled Biological Systems Program funded a bee-training program to detect buried landmines, so that many thousands of acres of the world’s land could be productively farmed without encountering landmines the ugly way.

Now that sounds simple enough, and absolutely noble in purpose. For a military program, I'm almost proud of the good nature of it......ehh..then one reads a bit further.

Quote
Very neat. But the VASOR also allows for a modular approach insofar as each cartridge can contain a bee that’s been trained to identify a different vapor, giving the VASOR the ability to trace up to 36 different vapors. For security at airports the VASOR’s cost efficiency could not possibly be matched by 36 trained dogs, and other security technologies do not currently have that range of potential threats covered.

Of course, there is also the ability of the VASOR to identify diseases and cancers in people and animals, to detect rapidly spreading bacteria in food, and to identify dry rot in buildings.... The applications for the VASOR136 are just beginning to unfold.
Source: Phys.Org

The sensitivity sure does open all sorts of possibilities. It would be nice to imagine it remains with the 'noble' causes.

 


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