Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bomb-Sniffing Wasps

I couldn't resist commenting on this story from USA Today. Apparently, scientists have trained wasps to help the United States fight the War on Terror; not to be confused with the War on Christmas, which has been put on hold for another year.

No, this newly developed weapon isn't lethal or even very frightening. I had a mental image of swarms of wasps being sent out across the earth to hunt down and sting members of al-Qaeda. These wasps, however, are of the non-stinging variety and have been trained to detect very minute traces of chemicals.

This revolutionary bomb buster which might be developed to search for missing people in rubble as well, will not be available for commercial use for another 5 to 10 years. That will give the canine community time to retrain for new careers in the guide dog profession, seeing as how this new discovery may be replacing them in the future.

The scientists at the University of Georgia, with
funding by the Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture, have even looked into the possibility of training the insects to detect cancer by sniffing human breath. After talking to many people I know, I believe this could be classified as animal cruelty. Whew.

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