13 January 2006

No, Tinkerbell, That's Not a Fish Taco You're Smelling

This article says that dogs can smell cancer on your breath. No, really. It seems that, once trained to respond differently to cancer patients and cancer-free controls, the dogs have a 90% accuracy rate. Due to the metabolic waste produced by cancer cells, one's breath will contain elements that can be perceived by a dog's heightened sense of smell, which is up to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human's. It looks like drug dogs won't be the only pooches freaking us out, in the near future.

The implications of this are pretty bizarre. If doctors are seriously planning to start using dogs to help diagnose illnesses, they'd better at least equip them with little doggy lab coats and glasses so it still feels professional. And if they can train dogs to sniff out STDs too (pictured), well maybe it'll cushion the blow of the bad news.

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