Something squirrely

You probably know that animals rely on their sense of smell to find food and even to navigate their environment. Your family dog can smell you and where you have been as soon as you enter the garage. Dogs are being used in some Nordic airports to sniff the passengers as they walk down the concourse looking for drugs, contraband covid. But dogs are big and obvious, so some of Chinese police have begun to train squirrels to find drugs, particularly in packages they consider suspect. Six Eurasian red squirrels have now been “successfully trained” and will be deployed out to large complex sites, such as logistics warehouses to uncover drugs that may be hidden in warehouses and storage areas. The squirrels can climb up and around stacks of crates with ease that would take humans and forklifts hours to move.

The squirrels have been trained to use their claws to scratch at boxes to alert their handlers that they have detected drugs. The squirrel squad has been doing an “excellent job” during routine tests, the Chinese trainer said. But since the years long process has been a tough nut to crack, they won’t be officially deployed for a while. “It’s probably going to take some time.”. According to police, “These squirrels have a rather keen sense of smell,” Chinese police have “successfully trained” squirrels to sniff out drugs along the border. Squirrels are the optimal candidate for uncovering drugs since they possess an excellent sense of smell, can maneuver in small areas and reach heights that would be inaccessible to a dog. The training of these squirrels comes as the country begins to enforce its zero-tolerance drug policy, which began last year.

US scientists have mutated mice to turn them into “super sniffers.” The aim is to create a new generation of animals of various sizes that can sniff out drugs or explosives, with the scientists saying the experiment is a proof of concept. In the future, rats, mice, and perhaps dogs, could be genetically altered to track down certain scents. “What we think we can do is make ‘super sniffers’ for particular odors,” said co-researcher Dr Paul Feinstein. Rats are already being used in Africa to find abandoned land mines. Some illnesses result in unique odors. Some dogs have been trained to sense some cancers and covid just by sniffing for a few seconds as you pass by. Animals have these sensors, the challenge is to train them to communicate what their noses find to a human language. We think we can develop them into tools and use them to detect disease.

Smelly jokes:

Did you hear Pantene recalled all of their women’s shampoo?
Biden promised he will personally sniff out this situation.

I once tried sniffing coke.
But the ice cubes kept getting stuck up my nose.

A police man came up to me with a sniffer dog and said, “This dog tells me you’re on drugs…..”
I said, “I’m on drugs? You’re the one talking to dogs.”

Me: “Sweet dog you got there.”
Police officer: “Yes, this is our new drug-sniffing dog.”
Me: “Still in training, huh?”
Police officer: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Nevermind.” 

February 15th Birthdays

1980 – Chantal Janzen, 1951 – Jane Seymour, 1987 – Amber Riley, 1820 – Susan B. Anthony

1564 – Galileo Galilei  1954 – Matt Groening, 1972 – Alex Borstein   1964 – Chris Farley

Morning Motivator:

The world belongs to optimists. Pessimists are only the spectators.

What is that smell?