Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The new new weapons

Does anyone else remember when Clinton was signing bill after bill to increase service members' pay and benefits? Remember how Republicans (echoing defense industry lobbyists) would piss and moan about how we weren't spending enough on "new technologies"? Anyone else miss those days?

Swarms of honeybees and moths housed in a big mesh-covered tent in San Antonio might hold the key to finding nuclear weapons.

For three years, scientists at the Southwest Research Institute have worked with the insects to sniff out explosives under a Defense Department contract.

They're also experimenting with rats, said Walter Downing, the institute's executive vice president.

But the technology still is in the experimental stage and hasn't been deployed yet in Iraq. Using bees has its drawbacks; it isn't often feasible in desert-like conditions, rainstorms or cold weather, according to researchers.

Thank God! We'll never have to worry about weapons in Bermuda, the French Riviera or certain areas of Swaziland.


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