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How Heat-Sensing Drones And Dogs Are Teaming Up To Stop Harmful Parasites

Apr 30, 2015 By Archit Tripathi
A heat-sensing drone flies over the trees, searching for a killer. When it finds something, it's time to release the hounds. When something threatens the safety of America's guacamole supply, no measure can be deemed too extreme. Through avocado groves across Florida, a deadly fungal infection, known as laurel wilt, is killing avocado trees faster than farmers can keep up. The major problem is that by the time visible signs of infection appear, the tree is already too far gone. That's where the heat-sensing drones and sniffing dogs come in.

The drones can sense the presence of the fungus (and the invasive Asian ambrosia beetle that carries it), and the dogs provide pinpoint detection that's often better than lab equipment designed for the same purpose. Scientists hope this method can be adapted to be used for other crops as well.
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