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Scientists granted $750,000 to develop bomb-detecting locusts

It appears that the Office of Naval Research is hoping to create a new bomb-sniffing team comprised of locusts, The Washington Post reports. Scientists at the Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri received a 3-year, $750,000 grant to continue research that turns ordinary locusts into bomb detectors. Researchers plan to take advantage of the insect’s powerful olfactory system to train them to detect particular scents and then harness their antennae. The plan is to use a tiny backpack to carry sensors that would record their brain activity and transmit the information. The locusts will also receive “tattoos” on their wings that would convert light into heat and a laser would allow the operator to then control the bug. Prototypes are expected within a year. 

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