For millennia, humans have used the noses of their four-legged friends for hunting or keeping watch. Today, dogs sniff at airports or border crossings to detect drugs or explosives. They are also found in the front lines of the emergency services to find survivors during avalanches or earthquakes. These applications of the canine sense of smell are even being extended to environmental protection: recently, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle were able to train dogs to identify the sources of PCBs, a prohibited endocrine disrupting pollutant.
But it is in the field of human health that the prospects offered by the truffle of our doggies are the most astonishing. As early as 2006, a study showed that dogs were able to detect lung cancer with 99% accuracy and breast cancer with 88%. Since then, many other experiments have been carried out in this field and other cancers (ovaries, colon, etc.) have been highlighted thanks to the canine olfactory system. Dogs have also been trained to alert their diabetic owners when their blood sugar levels get too low or too high (although the method is still debated).
Why do the eyes of dogs make us crack?
Some are able to identify (with 70% accuracy) children infected with malaria simply by sniffing their socks. Or
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