Usually we think rats as dirty and the one from which diseases occur like plague. But in recent studyit has been found that more thanrats, humans are responsible for the spread of Black Death.
In Africa rats are helping in to save lives and fight disease. Apopo and Sokoine University of agriculture in Tanzania are training rats to sense the scent of explosives and teaching them to detect and enable landmines in the countries like Tanzania, Mozambique and Cambodia. Though detecting landmines is an expensive business so countries at times lack the resources to carry out the time consuming and complicated work.Rats take less time in doing work, for example, when a human uses a metal detector it takes 25 hours to search 200sq m area where a rat can do that work in 20 minutes. Apopo James explained that rats are cheaper than dogs and also light enough that they don’t set off landmines. Rats can also smell out the odour specific to tuberculosis. Apopo said that they train rats to screen 100 samples in 20 minutes (which may take lab technicians 4 days) which can help TB patients who undergoes through the treatment but don’t get the proper care, to provide them better treatment.
By: Srishti Sharma