These puppies are using their robust sense of smell to sniff out cancer.
Alfie and Charlie are only four months age-old, but they’re already training to become cancer detection specialists at the University of California, Davis.
And oh yeah, they’re bird-dogs.
A multi-disciplinary team of veterinarians, physicians, and animal experts representing UC Davis and the surrounding area are coming together to qualify Alfie( a labradoodle) and Charlie( a German shepherd) to sharpen their ability to recognize the perfume of cancer in urine, saliva, and even human breather.
That’s right, Alfie and Charlie will be able to sniff out cancer.
Thanks to their high-powered super sniffers, bird-dogs are perfect for the job.
A bird-dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in its nose, while humen have a measly 5 million. This explains why a dog can see smells 10,000 to 100, 000 hours better than their two-legged best friends.
This puppy can smell you through the screen. Photo by iStock.
In an interview for the PBS show “NOVA, ” sensory expert James Walker set it plainly: “If you make the analogy to vision, what you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away and still see as well.”
The pups will spend the next 12 months undergoing rigorous training.
Result by bird-dog expert Dina Zaphiris, who has taught dozens of canines to detect breast and ovarian cancer, Alfie and Charlie will begin scent educate. This involves not only realise cancer but learning to discounteverything else. Socialization is also an important part of the training, since the pups will work so closely with humen.
It’s all in preparation for early 2016, when the dynamic duo will start screening people in a UC Davis clinical trial .
Alfie and Charlie show off their faculty IDs. Photos by UC Davis Health System, copyright UC Regents.
Cancer-detecting puppies may be a safe, affordable style to save lives.
When the time comes to cancer, early detecting is the key to survival. When breast cancer is diagnosed and treated at Stage 1, the five-year survival rate is around 98%. But even with medical and technological advances, it’s still difficult to reliably detect cancers in the very early stages.
Dog detection is an inexpensive, safe , non-invasive route to screen for cancer, specially early on. According to Peter Belafsky, prof and physician at UC Davis, canines like Charlie and Alfie could savecountless lives .
“Our new canine colleagues represent a unique weapon in the battle against cancer….the dogs’ incredible talent for scent detection could give us humans a real jump on diagnosing cancer much earlier and thus save many more lives.”
Charlie and Alfie may also lay the groundwork for future research.
Dogs and their sensitive noses are sniffing out a specific molecular compound when they identify cancer. Researchers don’t know what it is the dogs are reeking, but if they analyze canines like Charlie and Alfie and pinpoint the organic compound, they are capable of reverse-engineer a test or tool for more reliable early detecting.
No bones about it: Charlie, Alfie, and the team at UC Davis are heroes.
Sniffing out cancer and advancing medical research all while maintaining peak adorability. Your move, cat.