This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Wistar_ratThe Israeli X-Test company is working these days on a system that will train mice to find explosives at airport security checkpoints. The mice, carried in cages, will be trained to smell people and luggage to find certain substances and give a signal when they detect a threat.

The company believes that mice are preferable to dogs, machines or people in looking for explosives at airports and more effective. Vice-President, Yuval Amsterdam, said: “”They’re as good as dogs as far as their ability to sense, but they’re smaller and easier to train.They’re cheap, and you don’t have to take them for a walk. Once they are trained, they become bio-sensors.”

According to publications, the mice are expected to produce more reliable results since a large number of mice can be trained as a group by a machine.

The developers working on this project hope that the mice can smell not only explosives, but also drugs, thus fighting smugglers. “We can teach them anything that has a scent – whether it’s explosives, whether it’s drugs, whether it’s ivory in Africa. Anything that has a smell.” Amsterdam said.

The company is part of the Tamar group, which specializes in designing and developing explosives-related activities.