The unique ability of insects found unusual use.

Modern science is increasingly swings to the change of living organisms to perform practical tasks. And this is not always odious genetic modification — scientists in the US have created cyborgs on the basis of locusts, who will be looking for a variety of explosives on the battlefield, writes “Popular mechanics”.

Due to the high sensitivity to odors of a grasshopper adapted to search for explosives and made of insect cyborgs

Looks is the most brutal: the chassis, similar to the robot cleaner, the top of which is severely fixed an insect with attached wires. Looks like a DIY mad evil geniuses of fiction and militants of the late twentieth century. However, we are in the time when these inventions become a reality in a short time will help to save many hundreds of lives.

Due to the high sensitivity to odors of a grasshopper adapted to search for explosives and made insect cyborgs A — definition of smell of explosives immobile insects (shown orange “backpack” with the necessary electronics). Projection neurons PN1-PN5 excited (vertical lines on the chart) depending on what kind of fragrance smells the insect. B — scheme of the cyborg-the sapper, which moves between the points and the strength of the scent determines where the bomb is.

A few years ago Popular mechanics wrote about this development, but then it was in the initial stage we studied the possibility of turning locust into cyborgs. By the way, in the beginning of the project it was planned that the insects themselves will reach the goal and manage wanted by remote heating of the wings. Now at the end of a long work and many experiments, the team from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, responsibly declares that the concept is viable in every sense, although modified in some of its aspects.

Due to the high sensitivity to odors of a grasshopper adapted to search for explosives and made insect cyborgs On this slide is a schematic diagram of cyborgization insects. Depending on the flavor of what explosives can smell the locust projection neurons will fire differently. The study tested the determination of trinitrotoluene (TNT), its precursor 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT) and hexanol. As control was used the hot air.

Scientists have identified several projection neurons in the brain of the locust, the excitation of which shows what flavors caught the moustache of an insect. The involvement of the electrodes, and special power circuits, the researchers were able to very accurately define what smelled their subjects. Of course, not without a long process of calibration of the equipment, but the result is impressive: the accuracy of the determination of explosives is 80%, and the “uruguaya” is less than a second. Most confident this detector works in the collection of data from multiple cyborgs — the best option there were seven insects.


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