Mighty Mouse: Israel's bomb sniffing mice

By Jennifer Lipman, February 4, 2011

Israel’s advanced security methods are known as some of the best in the world, but a new development should raise more than a squeak.

Researchers from BioExplorers, a Herzliya-based company, have discovered that mice can be used to detect bombs.

They believe the technique could even be more accurate in finding explosives than the controversial full-body scanners.

The mice, who work four-hour shifts, are placed in cartridge tubes and conditioned to be repelled by the scent of explosive material. When they come into contact with this they run to one side, alerting security of a problem.

During a test-run in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli shopping centre the creatures identified 22 people who were carrying mock explosives.

Eran Lumbroso, one of the inventors of the techniques told New Scientist: “It's as if they're smelling a cat and escaping. We detect the escape."

Last updated: 2:51pm, February 4 2011