Drug sniffing dogs are common at airports and security checkpoints all around the world. But soon will come new critters performing the same duties – mice!
Scientists are training mice to detect things like drugs and even explosives. They can be rigged with tiny instruments that monitor their heart rate. When the mice smell the scent of drugs or explosives, their heart rate spikes signaling security folks that the mice have found something suspicious.
They’re even working on tiny monitors that will be able to tell when the mice start breathing harder, again a sign that they have found something they have been trained to search out.
Like with dogs, scientists say animals like mice have much more keen senses of smell than humans. And one major advantage of using mice to search for drugs and explosives is their size. They can squeeze into tight spots that dogs couldn’t even get near.
So far the specially trained mice are only being used in displays to prove their value in security. But soon we may be seeing them at airports.