General, Research, Technology

US military will search for mines with bacteria

In 2015, the U.S. Air Force launchedthe development of laser weapons that are mounted on vehicles and detonates explosive mines from a distance. But before you neutralize the munitions hidden underground, they must first be discovered. At the moment, specially trained dogs or soldiers with metal detectors are doing this, each time putting their lives in mortal danger. To save people and animals from risky tasks, the American company Raytheon began the development of genetically modified bacteria that can find mines and signal their location with a bright glow.

The word mine comes from the English mine, meaning digging

The company told about the new invention in itsblog post. She has already signed a contract with DARPA, which oversees U.S. Department of Defense promising research projects. In the development of genetically modified microorganisms, researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (USA) help her. What kind of mines bacteria can detect is still unknown, but the developers shared the principle of their work.

Explosive Detection Bacteria

Researchers intend to create two groupsbacteria that will be sprayed over areas with the possible presence of mines and work together. The first group of microorganisms will be modified in such a way as to penetrate deep into the soil and, in the case of explosives, report their presence to the second group of bacteria. She, in turn, will shine brightly so that the place of detection of mines was visible to flying drones. Further, the decontamination of mines will be dealt with by either the sappers who received the exact coordinates, or armed aircraft or robotic sappers.

By the way, you can read about how robots for defusing bombs are arranged.

She also shared the details of the new technology.research team leader Allison Taggart. According to her, they already know that bacteria can be taught to detect explosive substances that are part of mines. But underground they are much more difficult to find, and at the moment they are looking for a way to transport bacteria to great depths. They also have to teach the second group of bacteria to shine so brightly that they can be seen even from a great height.

Mines are installed on the surface of the earth or buried in it

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In theory, future detection of minescan help locate buried debris underground. It can also be assumed that bacteria can become irreplaceable assistants to archaeologists. For example, by making some changes to their genes, you can certainly find ancient structures or bones of ancient animals that lived thousands and millions of years ago. If there are no fossilized bones, then a lot of interesting things about the ancient inhabitants can be found out thanks to the traces left by them. You can read more about this in our material about finding traces of mammoths without excavation.