Feeds

Porton Down bio-terror tech re-used in odour-proof pants

Defending against the enemy within

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

It's well known that military projects can sometimes yield valuable spin-off technologies for civilian markets.

For instance, missile programmes played a key role in early integrated-circuit production, laying the foundations for today's digital hardware. Likewise, Pentagon-funded researchers were instrumental in setting up the forerunner to today's internet.

But until last week, it was much less common to see undeniably positive, feel-good innovations coming from the nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC)* terror-defence industries. Efforts to repel NBC threats have included the hotly-disputed Missile Defence programme, the oft-maligned Department of Homeland Security, and its various monitoring initiatives, etc etc.

Just last weekend, the actual Pentagon itself was involved in a "Urban Shield Biological Attack Test", which simulated "a biological attack in the Pentagon South Parking Lot". Many see defences against this type of outrage as necessary, but few would find such initiatives as personally, immediately useful as computers, say; or the internet.

But now all that has changed, as NBC defensive technology has been adapted in a way which could benefit us all. Namely, by removing the evil smells from, erm, personal emissions.

The Flat-D™ in-pant flatulence deodorising filter system ("revolutionising the personal hygiene industry around the world") could be the first successful civilian spin-off of NBC defence technology.

According to the Flatulence Deodoriser, Inc website, the Flat-D "absorbs the intestinal gas odour right at the source before it gets into the air, and others can smell it".

The Flat-D is a "three-ply activated charcoal cloth pad, that is secured inside the underwear...[it] isn't bulgy or detectible".

The manufacturers inform us that "activated charcoal cloth was originally developed by the British Chemical Defense Establishment as a highly efficient filter medium for protection against nerve gas and other highly toxic vapors that might be used in chemical warfare. This is the reason for its outstanding advantage as a decontaminating material."

And indeed, the Flat-D folks are quite correct: it was good old British boffins at Porton Down who developed the kit which may soon be protecting us all from the enemy within, so to speak.

Flat-D points out that its stink-busting kit "is breathable, lightweight, reusable, washable," and - perhaps best of all - "easily installed".

The inventor of the Flat-D, Brian Conant, says he came up with the idea while serving in the Hawaii National Guard. According to the company account: "During a simulated Chemical attack, Brian and few other soldiers were tasked to complete their mission, while wearing chemical protective clothing. While wearing the clothing he released gas and noticed that he couldn't smell any odour, nor could anyone else."

From there it was a short step to deploying the Porton Down war tech in the service of peace and goodwill among men. (And women. Not that they would ever need such a thing).

"Remember you can hide the sound of a fart by making a louder noise, but you cannot hide the odour of flatulence," Flat-D says.

Not until now, anyway. ®

Bootnote

*Or, lately, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN).

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?