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Codebreaker

Curiously strong search and rescue

John Moe Sep 13, 2011

British chemists are developing a new method of finding people missing in those crucial days after a disaster. Their research has just been published in the Journal of Breath Research, whose offices, incidentally, are where you can find every flavor tic-tac imaginable. In mock-disaster situations researchers found “molecules such as acetone and ammonia in the participants’ breath were easily detected through the simulated rubble.” The intent of these experiments is not to get rid of rescue dogs. The dogs do a fantastic job, but can’t work without taking a break and sometimes get injured.

Also, if you’re interested in taking place in their next round of mock-disaster experiments as a “victim,” you’d better like your alone time. Volunteers will be asked to be placed in a box for over six hours without food and water. Yikes!

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