Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Those Clever Kiwis

Scientists at the NZ government-owned agricultural research centre AgResearch have developed a way to detect explosives in airport luggage. And all because they wanted to find bad cheese.

The new technology can, apparently, tell the difference “between soap and plastic explosive.” The institute hopes to have the product ready for market after about 18 months more research and development.

AgResearch is primarily engaged in research benefiting agriculture, which remains
New Zealand’s largest industry. If the new technology proves successful, profits will go back to fund research. Just goes to show, you never know what positive spin-offs can come from basic research—especially when done by clever Kiwis.


Kalv1n said...

Ah, the rub of basic research. It's quite a struggle here in the US when you talk about federal funding and pantenting and basic research. Maybe you all have a better system.

Arthur Schenck said...

The main problem here is people--or the lack of them. A small population means little money for government-funded research. Many researchers end up going overseas for better opportunities. Still, some remarkable things have emerged.