Machine Design

How to find a terrorist: COMB HIS HAIR

A comb may become the latest tool against terrorism. University of Rhode Island researchers found that chemicals used to make bombs remain in the hair long after repeated washings.

Attaching ordinary gauze to a comb works as a collection device. Researchers are studying if all explosives are absorbed equally as well, if hair color and type affect adsorption, and whether the explosive, with time and washing, remains persistent. The ultimate goal is to establish a protocol for law enforcement use. The research is the result of a two-year, $320,000 grant awarded by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

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