How to Train a Rat to Sniff Out Landmines

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The Telegraph has an astonishing slideshow about a Dutch group that trains rats to sniff out landmines in Tanzania. With the aid of their rats, deminers can clear a field in two hours that would have taken a day without them. You will not be able to resist clicking through the close-up photographs of these little creatures being trained. Look at that harness!

A baby rat in a tiny harness twitches its pointed nose incessantly, probing a field where it is being trained by a pioneering Dutch Non Governmental Organisation in Tanzania to sniff out deadly landmines. Other rats trained under the same scheme have already helped clear large swathes of land in neighbouring mine-infested Mozambique

Read the full story at Telegraph (UK).

Image: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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