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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Insects & Reptiles Recruited for National Defense?

Did you know that wasps are being trained to one day replace bomb and drug dogs?

Feel safer? I bet you do. According to a report by the Associated Press, scientists say a species of non-stinging wasps can be trained in just five minutes and are just as sensitive to odors their canine counterparts, which can take up to six months of training at a cost of about $15,000 per dog.

If I understand correctly, a transparent handheld device contains the bees while they do their work. They sort of fly around in no particular manner until they train in on the scent they're after, which triggers a pattern of flying that the device reads as a positive scent.

The bees can be trained to sniff out any scent, including the smell of a bomb or drugs. They can work for about 48 hours and then they are released to live out the remainder of their lifespan, which is about three weeks or so.

Apparently, in 2002 the Pentagon looked into ways to recruit insects, reptiles and even crustaceans for helping out with national defense. Even so, this gives you another reason to start flailing your arms in the air when you're approached by one of those angry insects. I know I certainly will.

Bee Alert Technology Inc.:

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