Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • I'm here today to share with you an extraordinary journey.

  • Extraordinary, rewarding journey, actually, which brought me into training rats toe save human lives by detecting landmines and tuberculosis.

  • As a child, I had two passions.

  • One was a passion for rodents.

  • I had all kinds of rats mice, hamsters, gerbils, squirrels, you name it.

  • I bred it and I sold them to pet shops.

  • I also had the passion for Africa growing up in a multicultural environment.

  • We had African students in the house and I learned about their stories.

  • So different backgrounds, dependency on imported know how goods services, exuberant cultural diversity.

  • Africa was truly fascinating for me.

  • I became an industrial engineer engineer in product development, and I focused on appropriate detection technologies, actually first appropriate technologies for developing countries.

  • I started working in the industry, but I wasn't really happy to contribute toe a material consumer society.

  • In a linear extracting and manufacturing mode, I quit my job to focus on the real world's problem.

  • Lump mines.

  • We're talking 95 now.

  • Princess Diana is announcing on TV that landmines form a structural burrier toe.

  • Any development which is really true as long as these devices are there or there is suspicion off landmines.

  • You can't really enter into the land.

  • Actually, there was an appeal worldwide for new detectors sustainable in their environments where they're needed to produce, which is mainly in the developing world.

  • We chose rats.

  • Why would you choose rats?

  • Because aren't a Vernon?

  • Well, actually, rats are in contrary to what most people think about him.

  • Rats are highly sociable creatures.

  • And actually, our product.

  • What you see here, there's a target somewhere.

  • Here, you see an operator, a trained African with his rats in front who actually left.

  • And right there the animal finds a mine.

  • It scratches on the soil, and the animal comes back for a food reward.

  • Very, very simple, very sustainable in this environment.

  • Here the animal gets its food reward.

  • Andi, that's how it works.

  • Very, very simple.

  • Now, why would you use rats?

  • Rats have been used since the fifties last century in all kinds.

  • Off experiments.

  • Rats have more genetic material allocated to olfaction than any other mammal species.

  • They're extremely sensitive to smell.

  • Moreover, they have the mechanisms to map all these smells and to communicate about it.

  • Now, how do we communicate with rats.

  • Well, way don't talk rats, but we have a clicker standard method for animal training, which you see there a clicker, which makes a particular sound with which you can reinforce particular behaviors.

  • First of all, we associate the Click Sant with a food reward, which is smashed banana and peanuts together in a syringe.

  • Once the animal knows, click food, click food, click Food.

  • Click is food.

  • We bring it in a cage with the whole, and actually the animal learns to stick the nose in the hole under which a target scent is placed.

  • And to do that for five seconds.

  • Five seconds, which is long for a rat.

  • Once the animal knows this, we make the task a bit more difficult.

  • It learns now to find the target smell in a cage with several holes up to 10 holes.

  • Then the animal learns to walk on a leash in the open and find targets.

  • The next step.

  • Animals learn to find real mines in real minefields.

  • They are tested and accredited, according international mine action standards, just like dogs have to pass a test.

  • This consists of 400 square meters.

  • There's a number of mines, number off mines placed blindly and team off trainer and their rat have to find back all the oldie targets.

  • If the animal does that, it gets a license as an accredited animal to be operational in the field.

  • Just like dogs, by the way, maybe one slight difference.

  • We can train rats at 1/5 of the price off a train to the mining dog.

  • This is our team in Mozambique, one Tanzanian trainer who transfers the skills to these three Mozambican fellows, and you should see the pride in the eyes of these people.

  • They have a skill which makes them much less dependent on foreign aid.

  • Moreover, this small team together with, of course, you need the heavy vehicles and the manual the miners to follow up.

  • But with this small investment in a rat capacity, we have demonstrated in Mozambique that we can reduce the cost price per square meter up to 60% off what is currently normal.

  • $2 per square meter.

  • We do it at 1.18 and we can still bring that price down question off scale.

  • If you can bring in more rats, we can actually make the output even bigger.

  • We have a demonstration site in Mozambique.

  • 11 African governments have seen that they can become less dependent by using this technology.

  • They have signed the Pact for Peace and Treaty in the Great Lakes region, and they endorse hero rats to clear their common borders of landmines.

  • But let me bring it to a very different problem.

  • And this about 6000 people last year that walked on a landmine.

  • But Will Dwight last year, almost 1.9 million died from tuberculosis as a first cause off infection, especially in Africa, where T B and HIV are strongly linked, there is a huge coming problem microscopy the standard.

  • The pho procedure reaches from 40 to 60% reliability.

  • In Tanzania, the numbers don't lie.

  • 45% of people get the TV.

  • Patients get diagnosed with T B before they die.

  • That means that if you have to be, you have more chance that you won't be detected but will just die from T B secondary infections and swim.

  • And, um, if, however, you're detected very early, diagnosed early treatment can start.

  • And even in HIV positives, it makes sense.

  • You can actually cure t B even in HIV positives.

  • So in our common language Dutch, the name for T B is staring, which is technologically refers to the smell of tar.

  • Already, the old Chinese and the Greek Hippocratic have actually published documented that T B can be diagnosed based on the volatiles exuding from patients.

  • So what we did is we collected some samples just as a way of testing from hospitals trained threats on them on.

  • Well, see, see if this works and wonder Well, we can reach 89% sensitivity.

  • 86% specificity using multiple rats in a row.

  • This is how it works.

  • And really, this is a generic technology.

  • We're talking now explosives, tuberculosis.

  • But can you imagine?

  • You can actually put anything under there.

  • So how does it work to have a cassette with 10 samples East end samples at once.

  • In the case, an animal only needs 2/100 of a second to discriminate the sensor.

  • It goes extremely fast here.

  • It's already at the third sample.

  • This is a positive sample.

  • Uh, it gets a click sounds and by doing so very fast, we can have, like, a second line opinion.

  • Where to see which patients are positive, which are negative just as an indication.

  • Whereas in microscopy skin process 40 samples in a day, a rat can process the same amount of samples in seven minutes.

  • On me, a case like this.

  • Ah, cage like this, provided that you have rats and we have now currently 25 tuberculosis rats.

  • A cage like this, operating throughout the day, can process 1006 180 samples.

  • Can you imagine the potential offspring applications, environmental detection, off pollutants in soils through customs applications, detection off illicit goods in containers and so on.

  • But let's seek first to tuber close.

  • I just want to briefly highlight the blue rods are the scores off microscopy only in the five clinics in Jerusalem, on a population of 500,000 people where 15,000 reported to get a test done microscopy 4800 patients.

  • And by just presenting those samples once more to the rats and looping those results back, we were able to increase case detection rates by over 30%.

  • Throughout last year.

  • We've been depending on which intervals to take.

  • We've been consistently increasing case detection rates in five hospitals in Jerusalem between 30 and 40%.

  • So this really considerable knowing that a missed patient by microscopy infects up to 15 people healthy people per year, you can be sure that we have saved lots of lives.

  • At least our hero rats have saved lots of lives.

  • The way forward for us is now to standardize this technology on their simple things.

  • Like, for instance, we have a small laser in the sniffer hole where the animal has to stick for five seconds.

  • So to standardize this, also to standardize the pellets, the food rewards and to semi automate is in orderto Replicators on a much larger scale and affect lives off many more people to conclude.

  • There are also other applications at the horizontal.

  • Here is the first prototype off our camera.

  • Rats, which is a rat with a rat backpack with the camera, can go under rubble to detect for victims after earthquake, and so is in a prototype stage.

  • We don't have a working system here yet to conclude, I would actually like to say you may think this is about rats, this project, but in the entities about people, it is about empowering vulnerable communities to tackle difficult expensive and dangerous humanitarian detection tasks and doing that with a local resource, plenty available.

  • So something completely different is to keep on challenging your perception about the resources surrounding you, whether they are environmental, technological, animal or human, and to respectfully harmonize with them in order to foster a sustainable world.

  • Thank you very much.

I'm here today to share with you an extraordinary journey.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 TED-Ed detection rat tuberculosis click cage

How I taught rats to sniff out land mines - Bart Weetjens

  • 3 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/03
Video vocabulary