The way lobsters find a specific scent might one day keep soldiers safe on the battlefield.
Researchers say the neurons involved in “lobster radar” could be used to develop improved electronic “noses” to detect landmines and other explosives.
For many years, scientists have worked to create sensors that can detect everything from contamination in food products to harmful bacteria, as well as land mines and explosives. And because of the dangerous nature of hazardous material detection, scientists are constantly looking for ways to improve those devices.
“An electronic nose has to recognize an odor and locate its source. Finding the source has often been the job of the person handling the electronic nose,” said Barry W. Ache, distinguished professor of neuroscience and biology and director of the Center for Smell and Taste in UF’s Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute. To date, the technology has had its drawbacks — especially when the nose is used to detect potentially deadly materials that could endanger its human handler.
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