Locusts can sniff out explosives… and may even foil terror plots, experts suggest

LOCUSTS can sniff out explosives and could one day be used to foil terror plots, experts suggest.

Electrons implanted in their brains show their neurons react differently to TNT, DNT and other explosives.

Signals also reflected the concentration of vapour from explosives when the bugs were driven over “bombs” in a remote-controlled car.

Prof Barani Raman, of Washington University, US, said: “It’s not that different to when coal miners used canaries.”

“We didn’t know if they’d be able to smell or pinpoint the explosives because they don’t have any meaningful ecological significance.

“It was possible that they didn’t care about any of the cues that were meaningful to us in this particular case.”

“Most surprisingly, we could clearly see the neurons responded differently to TNT and DNT, as well as these other explosive chemical vapors.”

“It’s a similar approach, this is just a bit more sophisticated.”

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