BBC reports that American scientists are currently conducting genetic experiments in order to create mutant mice with a highly developed sense of smell. The aim is to create a generation of rodents capable of detecting drugs or explosives and the result of the experiments so far is very encouraging.

The main reason of highly developed animals is to detect certain odors

A report published in the science journal Cell Reports says that soon enough mice, rats or even dogs may be genetically programmed to detect certain odors.

Dr Paul Feinstein, a researcher involved in the project, Associated Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York, stated that the scientists were hoping to create living detectors in order to recognize certain types of scents. He believes that they can sensitize the smelling sense of animals so they could distinguish a certain smell in an environment.

The test results are motivating them to continue

So far, the experiments helped them test the reaction to two common scents, jasmine and mint.

The mutant mice were able to detect much smaller amounts of these substances than normal mice. The next step will be trying to detect drugs or explosives.

Rats are already used in Africa, as landmine detectors

The main researcher from Hunter College, Dr. Charlotte D'Hulst states that they want to continue their research in order to create rodents capable of finding explosives or drugs like cocaine. For this, they will have to identify the receptor that is activated by cocaine.

Some important industries will be able use such developed animals

Researches have foreseen more areas where they could apply the findings. For instance, military officials could use animals that are able to identify the smell of TNT, the main ingredient of explosive devices, and the perfume industry would grow if it succeeds in grafting the receptor of human odor. It would be less difficult to create fragrances and medicine if the animals were programmed to detect the fine odors that the chemical signatures of some diseases leave in blood, sweat or breath.

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