One locust is harmless, a swarm can be devastating. A new multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary project involving a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis aims to understand how swarms arise — and how to combat them.
Research from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has determined that locusts can smell explosives and determine where the smells originated — an important step in engineering cyborg bomb-sniffing locusts.
By looking into the brains of locusts, researchers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis have determined how one smell can affect another, and how a locust can recognize a smell even though its brain activity looks different depending on the context.
Using a locust’s sense of smell, a team of engineers from Washington University in St. Louis is developing new biorobotic sensing systems that could be used in homeland security applications, including bomb and chemical detection.
By training a type of grasshopper to recognize odors, a team of biomedical engineers at Washington University in St. Louis is learning more about the brain and how it processes information from its senses.
Our sense of smell is often the first response to environmental stimuli. Odors trigger neurons in the brain that alert us to take action. However, there is often more than one odor in the environment, such as in coffee shops or grocery stores. How does our brain process multiple odors received simultaneously? Barani Raman, PhD, of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, is using locusts to help find the answer.