Wasps Used to Detect Explosives

Posted on December 27, 2005  Comments (0)

Wasps Used to Detect Explosives, podcast from NPR:

The “Wasp Hound” is a device that utilizes trained wasps to detect explosives and other odors. Joe Lewis, research entomologist with the USDA Agriculture Research Service and the Wasp Hound’s lead inventor, discusses the device.

Wasps could replace bomb, drug dogs, USA Today:

Scientists say a species of non-stinging wasps can be trained in only five minutes and are just as sensitive to odors as man’s best friend, which can require up to six months of training at a cost of about $15,000 per dog.

“There’s a tremendous need for a very flexible and mobile chemical detector,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist Joe Lewis, who has been studying wasps since the 1960s.

Parasitic Wasps Learn and Report Diverse Chemicals with Unique Conditionable Behaviors by Olson, D.M., Rains, G.C., Meiners, T., Takasu, K., Tertuliano, M., Tumlinson, J.H., Wackers, F.L., Lewis, W.J. 2003. Chemical Senses. 28:545-549.

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