This ‘Optical Dog Nose’ Can Detect Hidden Cancer and Other Diseases

By: | July 25th, 2015

Dogs have an excellent sense of smell. Experts have successfully trained dogs to detect cancer and other human diseases by smelling breath or urine samples.

Scientists are now researching technology and techniques to find the links between the breath we exhale and information about the body’s condition.

Optical Dog Nose:  Sense of Smell in a Microchip

Scientists at an Australian university have made a major breakthrough by developing a special kind of laser breathalyzer that can analyze exhaled molecules. Just as a dog sniffs out a variety of smells, this breathalyzer uses light to ‘sense’ the range of molecules that are present in the sample.

The sensor, as small as a penny, can detect and measure contaminants down to parts per billion, equivalent to one drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The research is in its early stages, and a working prototype is about two to three years away.

Let’s hope its commercial version is available as soon as possible!

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. You can also find Nidhi on Google+.

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