(SERVICE ANIMALS) Dogs are the most familiar service animals for bomb-sniffing and searching for drugs at airports. But now mice are joining their canine counterparts as bomb sniffers in Israeli airports. How accurate are these tiny creatures at sniffing out explosives? Find out here… — Global Animal
Israeli researchers have developed a new detector where trained teams of mice will sniff would-be bombers and drugs at airports.
Researchers say it is more accurate than using dogs, pat downs and x-ray machines, reports the Daily Mail.
It looks like a metal detector or full-body scanner, but one side of it houses three concealed cartridges, each containing eight specially trained mice.
The animals work four-hour shifts, milling around in an allocated cartridge while sniffing air pumped in from outside.
When they pick up traces of explosives or drugs, they flee to a side chamber, triggering an alarm, according to New Scientist.
To avoid false positives, more than one mouse must run away.
“It is as if they are smelling a cat and escaping. We detect the escape,” inventor, Eran Lumbroso, of BioExplorers Company said.
The device was field tested last year on 1,000 shoppers in a Tel Aviv mall when the mice successfully picked out the 22 people with mock explosives in their pockets.