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Sensors based on a lobster ‘nose’ may someday sniff out landmines

19
Mar
2014

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – Scientists in Florida studying the way lobsters sniff around for food on the sea floor say they have found a clue to developing technology that could help soldiers detect landmines and hidden explosives from a safer distance than current technology allows. A lobsters nose is actually a pair of hairy antennules that capture odor molecules that settle on the hairs and help the creatures locate an odor, researchers at the University of Florida said. They are studying an olfactory neuron that emits bursts of electrical pulses, much like radar systems use pulses of radio energy to detect airplanes or thunderstorms. The teams findings, published in the January issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, may provide hints on ways to improve the devices to detect landmines and other explosives, said Jose Principe, an electrical and computer engineer professor on the research team.

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