Why you should listen
Dutch product designer Bart Weetjens works with locals in Morogoro, Tanzania, to trains rats to do something astonishing: sniff out land mines. (The African giant pouched rat, the species used in the project, is widespread in the region.) The rats that pass the training -- and the same rigorous testing applied to land mine-sniffing canines -- become what Weetjens calls "HeroRATS."
Weetjens and Apopo.org are now applying a similar approach to other fields, training rats to diagnose tuberculosis in hospitals.