Navigation Links
RATS research may teach rodents to detect explosives
Date:7/30/2012

WASHINGTON (July 30, 2012) -- A rat may never be man's best friend, but the Rugged Automated Training System (R.A.T.S.) research sponsored by scientists with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, in collaboration with engineers at West Point and the Counter Explosives Hazards Center, will determine if and how these animals can be trained to save Soldiers' lives.

In July, Barron Associates Inc., Charlottesville, Va. was selected for an award under the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to develop and test a rugged, automated and low-cost system for training rats to detect improvised explosive devices and mines, said Dr. Micheline Strand, chief of the Army Research Office's Life Sciences Division, which manages the program.

"The automated system we're developing is designed to inexpensively train rats to detect buried explosives to solve an immediate Army need for safer and lower-cost mine removal," says William Gressick, senior research engineer and the project's principal investigator at Barron Associates. "Beyond this application, the system will facilitate the use of rats in other search tasks such as homeland security and search-and-rescue operations. In the long-term, the system is likely to benefit both official and humanitarian organizations."

Strand said, "If we can demonstrate that rats can be trained inexpensively to be reliable detectors, then this method would not only lower costs for the Army but would also create new opportunities for using animals to detect anything from mines to humans buried in earthquake rubble."

It is well established that animals are capable of identifying explosives at lower concentrations than abiotic systems. The Department of Defense currently relies on dogs as the animal of choice for explosives detection. The goal of this STTR program is not to replace the use of dogs, but to expand the Army's detection capabilities.

"Training dogs is very expensive. If we can significantly reduce the cost of a trained animal, then we could provide more animals to protect soldiers." Strand said.

Trained rats would also create new opportunities; rats can search smaller spaces than a dog can, and are easier to transport.

Landmines kill between 15,000 and 20,000 people a year, and continue to kill adults and children decades after a conflict ends. An automated system to train rats to find mines could accelerate worldwide efforts to clear mined areas and return mined land to farming or other productive uses.


'/>"/>
Contact: Joyce P. Brayboy
joyce.p.brayboy.civ@mail.mil
301-394-1178
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers discover elusive gene that causes a form of blindness from birth
2. Researchers monitor red tides in Chesapeake Bay
3. BUSM researchers find link between childhood abuse and age at menarche
4. Space research institute awards funding to promising medical products
5. Researchers dig through the gene bank to uncover the roots of the evolutionary tree
6. U of M researchers Darwinian Agriculture explains how evolution can improve agriculture
7. Researchers find new gene mutation associated with congenital myopathy
8. ONR-funded research takes flight in Popular Science article
9. NASA and university researchers find a clue to how life turned left
10. American Health Assistance Foundation announces grants to advance promising vision research
11. House funding bill will delay research progress and place new burdens on NIH
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
RATS research may teach rodents to detect explosives
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, ... technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and ... prisons involved, it has secured the final acceptance ... facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, ... facilities to be installed by October, 2016. MAS ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle ... people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new ... , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision ... million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). ... and to advance its drug development efforts, as well ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner ... a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: