Scientists 3D-printed sea turtle eggs and stuffed transmitters inside. When poachers pulled them out of nests, the devices tracked their every move. Courtesy of Helen Pheasey In the HBO series The Wire , Baltimore cops Herc and Carver devise an unorthodox way to listen in on a drug dealer named Frog, right on the street: They shove a tiny, $1,250 microphone into a tennis ball, which they then place in a gutter. Listening in from a building across the street, they watch as Frog picks up the ball and absentmindedly tosses it between his hands, sending thuds and an electric screech into Herc’s headphones. Quickly over it, Frog chucks the ball over their building. Carver rushes after it, only to watch a semi truck crush their very expensive tennis ball . The Baltimore PD’s failure, though, may still be biologists’ gain. Drawing both from the imaginary surveillance tennis ball and a story arc from Breaking Bad , in which the Drug Enforcement Agency uses GPS to track methylamine barrels , real life researchers have developed the InvestEGGator: a fake sea turtle egg filled with a transmitter in place of an embryo, a clever new way to track where poachers […]


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