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« Boys and Shootouts | Main | No, not THAT birthday »

February 27, 2007

Weapons of Mass Distraction

First it was chimps with spears. Now this:

Chinese scientists have succeeded in implanting electrodes in the brain of a pigeon to remotely control the bird's flight, state media said.

Xinhua News Agency said the scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center at Shandong University of Science and Technology in eastern China used the micro electrodes to command the bird to fly right or left, and up or down.

The implants stimulated different areas of the pigeon's brain according to electronic signals sent by the scientists via computer, mirroring natural signals generated by the brain, Xinhua quoted chief scientist Su Xuecheng as saying . . .

I don't want to be thought of as an alarmist, but am I the only person who sees the threat to our way of life here? Imagine: a crack squadron of attack pigeons trained to drop their, err, payload on our major financial centers. The potential for economic disruption through loss of productivity and excessive dry-cleaning is simply too great. If there's a one percent chance that Columba livia can be used as a weapon against American interests, we must treat it as a certainty.

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Kristine Steakley

We're training honeybees to respond to smells, too. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-11-26-bees-bomb-sniffing_x.htm

First the birds, now the bees? Where's Alfred Hitchcock when you need him?


A funny article. (I had an old green Pontica Granville that was a favorite bird "target").

But what if the pigeons were fed some kind of easily transmittable virus or other WMD &released enmasse on a city???

Jim & Graham

We can't help but smile, radio controlled pigeon. We have just the use for such an invention. Fly them right over us. :)

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I believe this was tried in WWII using the less technological method of operant conditioning. I don't recall that the results were very successful.

I agree with you, the implications are disturbing, not so much with pigeons carrying incendiaries, but controlling people.

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