If you find an individual with exceptional talent, why not clone it? That's an idea that may no longer be confined to the realm of science fiction, at least for dogs. South Korea's customs service has now deployed the world's first cloned sniffer puppies for hunting smuggled drugs.
Just 30 percent of natural-born sniffer dogs can normally pass the required training, but South Korean scientists hope that they can improve that to 90 percent by cloning best-of-breed dogs.
Calling a lithe, sniffing robot a "ferret" raises hopes that it'll be rather cuter than the mockup pictured, but the cargo-screening device in development has capabilities that outshine its aesthetic shortcomings. Though still in its beginning stages -- working prototypes will be ready in about two years -- this robot could revolutionize airport and seaport security by serving as an all-in-one drug, weapon, explosive, and illegal-stowaway detection powerhouse.
Scientists have built a high-tech simulator to lay this important question to rest
By Jessica PortnerPosted 05.27.2009 at 7:16 am 30 Comments
When I slipped behind the wheel of the traffic simulator at Israel's Ben Gurion University recently, it was less than two minutes before I was bumping into the virtual cars and swerving around pedestrians. Maneuvering through the tree-lined urban roads projected in dayglo colors on giant screens was tricky--and I wasn't even one of their hard-drinking or toking research subjects.
What happened to you, Holland? You used to be cool. As every popped-collar, half-witted frat boy and Bonnaroo-attending, blond dreadlock-wearing neo-hippie moron repeats ad nauseum, you were the country kindest to the kind bud.
Well, apparently Dutch robots aren't quite so accepting of a little puff now and then.
It's miserable enough to be under the weather in the comfort of your home, but imagine coming down with a bad cold when you're stuck inside a small crew module 200,000 miles from Earth. You're coughing on your fellow astronauts and that space food you ate half an hour ago is now floating around your zero-gravity spacecraft.
Luckily, mission control packed some antibiotics into your survival pack... but will they work in space?
It's April 20th, National Weed Day -- the unofficial national holiday of stoners everywhere. From the party to end all parties at the University of Boulder to the crowning of Ms. High Times at an undisclosed New York City location this afternoon, the skunky perfume of cannabis is in the air. But this year, those who toke at the altar of Mary Jane may have a little more to celebrate. In politics and the media, the legalization of marijuana seems to be gaining traction.
The annoying physical exertion associated with lifting a pill to your mouth and washing it down with a Dixie cup full of H20 could soon be history. Much excitement is building around electronic implants that dispense medicines automatically or via a wireless medical network. According to a team of Australian and US researchers, however, remote Intelligent Drug Delivery Systems (RIDDS) are rife with security issues.
We didn't want to write about it. Seriously, we didn't. Sure, Michael Phelps has digital technology, the 24-hour news cycle and precision blown glass to blame for his plight but we're better than that.* But when US Swimming went and suspended Phelps for two months for, ultimately, acting his age, we felt compelled to write something. The 'Science' part of Popular Science restricts us from condemning the insanity of the punishment (note, however, they did nothing following his 2003 DUI).