If you thought that the airport full body scanner is bad, there's a new level of indignity awaiting you at the airport security screening line: being sniffed by mice.
Israeli company BioExplorers has developed a system that employs a group of mice trained to detect the smells of suspicious material:
"The idea began in 2000-2001, when there were many suicide bombings on (Israeli) buses," said BioExplorers founder and chief technology officer Eran Lumbroso at the Israel Homeland Security exhibition in Tel Aviv, where he displayed his mechanism for the first time.
"I was in the army at the time, and the idea emerged to use small animals instead of dogs in detecting suicide bombers." [...]
Mice were eventually chosen because of their keen noses and diminutive size. [...] "They have a very developed sense of smell, more than that of dogs," he said, pointing out that sniffer dogs can also be intrusive and sometimes intimidating to their subjects.
"The mice can also be easily trained, and thanks to their small size, you can use a small group of them and have multiple sensors," says Lumbroso.