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The Aids Memorial

Medicine, The five, Diseases that dogs can detect

Par Ian Tucker - 1 mn

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Critics, Art : Irresistibly drawn

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A dog at work in a prostate cancer trial. Emma Jeffery/ Medical Detection Dogs/PA

Scientists have only recently begun to investigate canines’ extraordinary sense of smell, hoping that it will prove an earlier and more reliable predictor of illnesses – from diabetes to malaria – than conventional testing

1. Malaria
Last week, researchers presented evidence that dogs could tell from sniffing someone’s socks whether they had malaria. After several months of training, a labrador and a labrador-retriever could tell if a child had the disease even if they were not showing symptoms.

2. Prostate cancer
In 2015, Italian researchers announced that they had trained two German shepherds to detect chemicals linked to prostrate cancer in urine samples. Th e dogs were correct in 90% of cases, while the standard PSA blood test is not considered reliable enough for screening. Th ere is an ongoing study in Milton Keynes hospital NHS trust that aims to evaluate dogs’ abilities in a normal clinic...

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