Next Security Indignity? Trained "Sniffer Mice"
2012-11-16 0:00

From: Telegraph.co.uk

An Israeli company is aiming to revolutionise the way explosives, narcotics and even money are detected at airports, docks and border crossings with the help of specially trained mice.

The system, developed by the Herzliya-based BioExplorers, is simple: a traveller stands inside a small booth and is hit by a gentle blast of air that is then sucked into an small opaque chamber, where a group of eight mice are on duty.

After eight seconds, assuming the subject is all clear, a green light appears and the barrier opens.

But if the air smells of a suspicious material the mice have been trained to detect, they gather in the so-called reporting compartment, which raises an alarm.

"The idea began in 2000-2001, when there were many suicide bombings on (Israeli) buses," said BioExplorers founder and chief technology officer Eran Lumbroso at the Israel Homeland Security exhibition in Tel Aviv, where he displayed his mechanism for the first time.

"I was in the army at the time, and the idea emerged to use small animals instead of dogs in detecting suicide bombers."

After leaving the army in 2004, Lumbroso continued work on the project, running tests with different types of animals, portals and training methods.

Mice were eventually chosen because of their keen noses and diminutive size.

"They can be trained to sniff out drugs, money, even remainders of pesticides on agricultural produce," explains Lumbroso, who is a biologist.

"They have a very developed sense of smell, more than that of dogs," he said, pointing out that sniffer dogs can also be intrusive and sometimes intimidating to their subjects.

"The mice can also be easily trained, and thanks to their small size, you can use a small group of them and have multiple sensors," says Lumbroso.

The booths contain three sections, or cartridges, roughly the size of a small microwave oven, stacked one on top of the other, which are each home to eight mice.

Each group of rodents works a four-hour shift, before the flow of air is automatically diverted to the next cartridge in line.

The cartridges contain food and water which are renewed every 14 days when they are removed for cleaning and servicing.

BioExplorers says the mice enjoy much better conditions than those of standard lab mice. They are trained over two months, with each mouse able to work for an 18-month period.

In December 2010, a BioExplorers booth was placed at the entrance to a Tel Aviv shopping centre and more than a thousand people passed through it, among them 20 test subjects carrying suspect material.

"Over 1,200 people passed through. There was one false alarm, and all of the initiated targets were detected," Lumbroso said.

While mice would not be efficient in detecting metals, which do not have a powerful odour, they can be trained to react to different kinds of narcotics, and dozens of kinds of explosives emanating from roughly 15 different "families" of materials, said Lumbroso.

They can even detect the particular smell of money.

[...]

Read the full article at: telegraph.co.uk





Related Articles
National Anti-TSA Campaign: Opt Out And Film Week (Nov. 19 - 26)
Security Theater: TSA Confiscates Woman’s Frosted Cupcake
Poll: Nearly One Third Of Americans Would Accept ‘TSA Body Cavity Search’ in Order to Fly
TSA Lets Loaded Guns Past Security, on to Planes


Latest News from our Front Page

Head-on train crash in Bavaria, Germany - Nine dead, 50 seriously injured
2016-02-09 14:39
Nine people are dead, two are assumed missing and 50 seriously injured after a head-on collision between two trains in Germany's southern state of Bavaria, police said Tuesday. Altogether, 100 to 150 people suffered injuries in the collision, police say. The crash occurred shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday local time near the spa town of Bad Aibling, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) ...
DNA discovery unearths 'unknown chapter in human history' in Europe 15,000 years ago
2016-02-09 4:31
Scientists studying the DNA of ancient Europeans found evidence of a 'major population upheaval' at the end of the last Ice Age A major and unexplained population shift occurred in Europe around 15,000 years ago when local hunter-gatherers were almost completely replaced by a group from another area, scientists researching our ancestors' genetics have discovered. The findings were made after the ...
Hackers Leak Info on 9,372 DHS Employees
2016-02-08 22:30
Homeland Security claims there is no indication that any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information occurred Hackers released the names, positions, phone numbers and email addresses of more than 20,000 alleged FBI employees Monday only hours after leaking similar data from more than 9,000 people at the DHS. The group claiming responsibility, known as “DotGovs,” first alerted Infowars to the alleged ...
Gyms, Wikipedia, & Anti-White Racism
2016-02-08 22:16
A media-generated “uproar” following the innocent renaming of a River Falls, Wisconsin, school gym, and the blatant manipulation of Wikipedia, have served as the latest examples of the ongoing anti-white racism which is becoming endemic in society at large. As reported in the River Falls Journal, the Meyer Middle School in River Falls, Wisconsin, needed a new fitness center. To this ...
Pegida's Multi - Culti (state) Agenda!
2016-02-08 4:49
This guy raises some very interesting points regarding the recent PEGIDA launch in the UK and around Europe. Make sure to check out the videos below. The focus on the criticism descends into a Nazi accusation contest. "No no THEY are the REAL Nazi's." Pegida UK is fronted by Tommy Robinson, Paul Weston and Anne Marie Waters. They held a demo in ...
More News »