It’snot what you think!! No,, wait, it is, artificial snot.
The boffins, (I’m learning your wacky ways over there Al) over at The University of Warwick and Leicester University already developed a sweet little electronic nose. No big whup.
The Big Whup, is that they made snot for it!
They’ve got 50 or so sensors packed into the unit itself. A simple comparison would note that our noses (those of us Homo-Sapiens that is) tend to have over 100 million sensory receptors. The range of the naso-recepting systems (I made that up, don’t worry, isn’t a real term) are vastly limited compared to our own noses (think of how they compare to a dog!)
The mucus in a real nose dissolves and separates scents for better recognition. Basically, that’s what they’ve done for the artificial nose is to generate a way to separate and clarify the scents. Formerly, a banana and a milk were tough to identify and differentiate, but with the snot,, Voila!! They could tell them apart.
The “snot” they’ve developed is actually a special 10-micron thick polymer coating.
The next thing they’re going to do is develop a specialized finger that will help them,, er,, uhh,, maybe not.
Oh yeah, and the next time there’s a blog post to do about snot,, I don’t think I’m going to do any graphic searching for an image, I’ll just use whatever is supplied, like the image above, cause, umm, searching for “snot” in Google images, is NOT fun!! Ewwwwww!!!