Remote-controlled sharks

Posted on April 11, 2006 

Remote-controlled sharks

The Pentagon is working on using remote-controlled sharks as stealth spies.

Engineers funded by the US military have created a neural implant designed to enable a shark’s brain signals to be manipulated remotely.

The Pentagon hopes to exploit sharks’ natural ability to glide quietly through the water, sense delicate electrical gradients and follow chemical trails, reports New Scientist.

The project, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Neural implants consist of a series of electrodes are embedded into the animal’s brain, which can then be used to stimulate various functional areas.

Biologist Jelle Atema of Boston University and his students are using them to “steer” spiny dogfish in a tank via a phantom odour.

Project engineer Walter Gomes, of the Naval Undersea Warfare Centre, says the next step will be to implant the device into blue sharks and release them into the ocean off the coast of Florida.

from Ananova


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