Friday, 29 November 2013
Bees Have Been Trained To Sniff Out Cancer in Humans
Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.
Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.
Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.
The system is definitely not foolproof, but could be used as a low-cost alternative to current early detection methods that require expensive medical machinery. Find out more on Soares’s website.