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Inscentinel' is a firm based at Rothamsted Experimental Station in Hertfordshire. They specialise in the development of insect olfaction technologies[1][2] for the detection of trace chemicals, specifically Hymenoptera training techniques and technologies.[3]

HistoryEdit

Inscentinel was founded in 2000, and was a spin-out resulting from a joint venture project between Unilever[4] and Rothamstead Research.[5] The firm was backed with venture capital,[6][7] funding from the British Government,[8] and other investment.[9]

TechnologyEdit

Conventionally, detection of chemicals at low vapor pressures has been based on mass spectrometry, gas chromatography and the use of sniffer dogs. Insect olfaction is sensitive down to parts per trillion[10] and the use of insects to conduct searches for illegal drugs, and explosives[11]—particularly in security[8] applications such as demining—is envisaged.[12] The technology has been tested by QinetiQ for Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining.[13] Potential health uses are also reported,[14] such as for TB.[15] Inscentinel is a patent holder.[16][17] The species of bee used is Apis mellifera.[18]

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Inscentinel Ltd. USA Today Website. USA Today. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  2. sniffer bees. CNet News. Cnet. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  3. Inscentinel trains sniffer bees to detect bombs. ICIS website. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  4. Pearson Matthews Research & Development. PMUK Website. PMUK. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  5. Companies associated with Rothamsted Research. Rothamsted Research Website. Rothamsted Research. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  6. OT3 Annual Statement. Oxford Technology 3 Annual Statement. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  7. Portfolio - Environmental Technologies. Midven Website. Midven. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  8. Oxford Early Investments Newsletter. Oxford Early Investments Website. Oxford Early Investments. URL accessed on Dec 2007.
  9. Inscentinel Develops Bee-Based Sensor Device to Detect Explosives. AZO Sensors website. AZO sensors. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  10. Sniffer bees set to snare suicide bombers. This is London Website. This Is London. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  11. Inscentinel Honeybees Sniff For Explosives: Science Fiction in the NewsInscentinel Honeybees Sniff For Explosives: Science Fiction in the News. Science Profiles Website. Science Profiles. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  12. Pre-Trial Assessment (PTA) of the Inscentinel system using bees for detection of explosives.. GICHD Website. GICHD. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  13. Bees Can Sniff Out Disease in Humans. Daily Express Website. Express Group Newspapers. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  14. http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/article/1326
  15. Detection of odors using insects. Justia Patents Website. Justia. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  16. Insect Loading System. PatentStormUS. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
  17. Khot, Anna Humble Honey Bee Helping National Security. Naked Scientists Website. Naked Scientists. URL accessed on 3 March 2012.
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