A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Dogs Sniff For Cancer
Dogs can detect cancer through their sense of smell, according to a study published last weekend in the British medical journal BMJ. Three cocker spaniels, a Labrador, a papillon and a mongrel were trained by sniffing a urine samples during weeks of training. Gas chromatography studies have shown that some tumors exude minute amounts of formaldehyde, alkanes and benzene derivatives not found in healthy tissue.
Overall, the dogs had a 41% success rate. Some scientists suggested that they just needed better training. However, all six of the dogs were able to detect cancer in the urine of a man who was used as a control (thought to be cancer-free). When tested further, he was found to have a kidney tumor.
This is not the first time a dog has been trained to detect cancer. In 1990, a bomb-sniffing schnauzer in Tallahassee, Florida was retrained to sniff humans lying on a table and to place his paw on tumors. In tests, the dog correctly found melanomas on six of seven patients.
Humans have also sniffed for diagnostic clues; Hippocrates described the fruity odor of diabetes in the breath.
Even though dogs have the edge on humans when it comes to the sense of smell, people are fighting back with electronic noses. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology have been working on a sniffing machine called the E-Nose. It uses computers and sensing film to do the work. The intent is to develop a device that can smell "problem" contaminants in the air before they become apparent (and a danger) to the astronauts. The paperback-book sized unit has already taken a ride on the Space Shuttle and proved that it was able to smell and identify contaminants in the air.
Science fiction fans may recall the modded dogs in John Brunner's 1976 novel Shockwave Rider; they were genetically modified for higher intelligence, and were used to sniff out people who lie or use undesirable substances based on their body odor.
Read more about cancer-sniffing dogs at Moist Nose Shows Promise in Tracking Down Cancers; read more at the Electronic Nose website.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/29/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Altos Labs' Bezos Wants An Anti-Agathic (To Live Forever)
'So what we're looking for now is... an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.' - James Blish, 1957.
Anti-Forced Organ Harvesting Global Summit
'The doctor was a line of machines with a conveyor belt running through them.' - Larry Niven, 1967.
Israel Okays Third Covid Shot For Seniors
'All the vaccination shots up and down his arms, on his thighs and buttocks...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
Stretchable OLED Heart Monitor Band-Aid
You can't buy them in the store just yet.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Jetson ONE Personal Electric Aerial Vehicle
Who says you can't have your flying car?
Starlab By Nanoracks, A Commercial Space Station
'Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'
Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.
Monarch Tractor - It's Electric, Autonomous and Smart
'Driver-optional' and follows gestures.
'Seabreeze' Apple And UCLA Project To Beat Depression
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test,' the machine said peevishly.'
Hovermap By Emesent Autonomous Mapping Works Indoors - and Out
Perfect for exploring ancient artifacts on distant planets.
Sono Motor's Sion Sun-Powered Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline
'a walking balloon proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.'
Xavier Robots On Patrol For 'Anti-Social Behavior'
'This was as close as a robot could get to a cop in uniform.'
Rotating House in Bosnia
'... feel free to turn the house on your own.'
Ingenious Engineer Creates DIY Feeding Robot
'Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'
SpaceX Creates 'Tholian Web' Mega Constellation Of Satellites
'We shall not see home again!'
Do Smart Glasses Need Forward-Facing Cameras?
'They were stylish, with yellow-tinted lenses and hip frames, but the posts were unusually thick.'
Adorable One-Seater Electric Car From Wuxi Sinotech
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'
Zoom Adds Real-Time, Live Translation
'He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier..'
It's Spacewalk Sunday, Thanks To The ESA
'The delicious, indescribable pleasure of being a little planet swinging through space...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories