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Undisciplined: Here Come The Cyborg Locusts

Baranidharan Raman

Since the dawn of agriculture, locusts have been a scourge for farmers around the world. But a new study suggests that while we’ve long been focused on the harms locusts can cause, we might be missing out on the benefits. For instance, and this is just one example, locusts are really good at detecting explosives.

The researchers in Barani Raman’s lab at Washington University in St. Louis are focused on understanding the design and computing principles of biological sensory systems using the relatively simple but highly perceptive olfactory systems of invertebrates. The lab’s latest study, published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, may pave the way for an era in which dogs are replaced by bomb-sniffing cyborg locusts in airports around the world.