The Ben-Gurion International Airport in Israel has a reputation for being one of the safest airports in the world. This may be thanks to all of the creative Israeli innovators who think of new ways to make flying safe and enjoyable. Our friends at NoCamels tell us five ways Israeli researchers make travel better. Check out number one on the list below, or read the full list here.
1. X-Test: Training mice to sniff out explosives
Although some might see mice as pests, Israeli company X-Test is harnessing a trait that make rodents pretty extraordinary. These small mammals can sniff out explosives at airport security checkpoints, thereby protecting travelers while saving security authorities time and money.
Established by former Israel Defense Forces officers, X-Test has built its reputation on detecting and neutralizing explosives. Now, by utilizing mice’s keen sense of smell to detect drugs, explosives and foreign substances at border crossings and airports, the company is breaking new ground. The specially trained mice will be carried in cages to different checkpoints in order to discreetly smell people and their possessions, alerting officials when they smell a potentially lethal substance.
Yuval Amsterdam, a former bomb-disposal expert who is behind X-Test, even claims the mice are more effective in distinguishing smells than explosive-detecting canines. “They’re as good as dogs as far as their ability to smell, but they’re smaller and easier to train,” Amsterdam told The Independent. “Once they are trained, they become bio-sensors.”