The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was founded in 1958 to protect American citizens by maintaining national security. By developing new technologies which are superior to potential adversaries in the military and preventing strategic surprise, they can successfully achieve their mission. Groundbreaking research provided technology which allows the government to find terrorists without invading the privacy of their citizens.
Traditionally, dogs have been used to compliment security practices with their superior sense of smell. However, recent technology will likely render excessive security dogs obsolete. Instead of having to smell each individual person a machine will be able to catch the scent of explosives and other dangerous chemicals. Sensors can be placed at door frames to catch the scent of a wisp of hair or piece of clothing as people pass through the entrance.This technology is unobtrusive since people who are not a threat can pass without any problems. Instead of suspecting every since person as guilty until proven innocent with high tech machines and other devices, this technology will allow civilians to go about their day without issues. This technology would be priceless for places like airports which have to use expensive equipment that is hard to maintain. Of course, it also has other limitless applications.
The proteins responsible for our sense of smell are called olfactory receptors. Since the proteins lose their structure quickly when exposed to water, scientists have a hard time synthesizing them in the lab. It is even more difficult to produce them in quantities which are large enough to be useful. Several years have been spent purifying and segregating receptor proteins using materials such as detergent and wheat germ. Over the years, research has made it easier to grow enough proteins to use in industries and further research.
Many Americans feel being innocent until proven guilty is a right they are losing as citizens. Therefore, it is important that the technologies developed do not infringe upon anyone's rights while keeping everyone safe. This technology is groundbreaking because it allows people to maintain their rights and be protected at the same time. A minority of people also believe that animals should be used sparingly, or not at all, with regards to human safety. They feel as though animals should not be put in any risky situations. This may eliminate the need for animals like dogs to sniff out explosives and other substances completely. It could also save the US government millions of dollars after this security feature has been implemented. Not only will the government have to pay to reconstruct places if they get destroyed by acts of terror, but they will save money on training for animals and other security workers. Overall, it is a small but effective solution for a big problem.
Americans want to feel safe and protected, but do not want their basic right to privacy infringed upon. Instead of expensive, intrusive machinery that is hard to maintain, recent developments in technology make it easier for us to sniff out potential threats. This solves many ethical problems like spying on people with x-rays or pat down searches whenever they need to board a plane. While effective, such practices are controversial to many people. Therefore, we are finding solutions for security while maintaining privacy for the innocent.