Scotland: In a strange twist, scientists are training mice to rescue people trapped during earthquakes.
According to Newsweek, the innovative project is being worked on by research scientist Dr. Donna Keane from Glasgow, Scotland. Rodents are trained to be sent to the wreckage of an earthquake wearing small backpacks with microphones so rescue teams can talk to survivors.
So far, about seven mice have been trained to respond to the beeping sounds. Currently, homemade prototype backpacks containing a microphone are used, and scientists are sending the rodents to a mock wreck. Specialized backpacks containing microphones and video equipment as well as location trackers will also be created in order to allow rescue teams to communicate with survivors during real earthquakes.
Newsweek reports that Dr. Kane has resided in Morogoro, Tanzania, for one year, working with the non-profit organization APOPO for a project called “Hero Rats”.
Mice will be able to get into small spaces to reach victims buried under the rubble. We haven’t been in a real situation yet, we have a mock location of the wreck. When we get the new backpacks, we’ll be able to hear where we are from and where the rat is, inside the wreckage. “We have the ability to talk to victims through mice,” Dr. Kane was quoted by Newsweek as saying.
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