Dogs Smell Cancer – level 3
Military dogs which used to protect soldiers are now being trained to sniff out prostate cancer in patients’ urine samples. The Italian researchers started the study after reading about dogs that were used to smell melanoma.
Dogs’ noses are very powerful, as they have up to 300 million sensors compared to a measly six million in humans. One dog was even able to identify the disease in a patient before the medical team.
As impressive as the canines’ performance is, you will not see dogs roaming hospital wards to diagnose patients any time soon. The team in Tuscany wants to develop an electronic tool to replicate the dog’s sense of smell.
Difficult words: melanoma (a form of skin cancer), sensor (a measuring device), measly (ridiculously few), canine (the scientific word for ‘dog’), roam (walk around).
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