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Cancer Sniffing Honeybees

New research on honeybees concluded that the insects are able to sniff out lung cancer both in a lab and on patients’ breath. Scientists connected honeybees to electrodes to track their brain activity while passing different scents under their antennae. Some scents mimicked the breath of healthy individuals and some mimicked the smell of lung cancer patients’ breath, which is too faint to be detected by humans. The scents created different brain activity patterns among the bees, and they were consistently able to detect which odors contained lung cancer cells. The research shows that honeybees could be an unexpected resource in the early detection of lung cancer, as the bees’ results are given in real-time with 93% accuracy. 

Image via Science News

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