smell

Tag archives for smell

Super-sniffing elephants

Like Aesop’s fable, rats have another reason to be envious of elephants. Elephants also have significantly more genes that can detect different smells (i.e. olfactory receptor genes) than other super-sniffers like rats and dogs. In fact, compared to 13 other species, African elephants have 1,948 genes related to smell putting them ahead of the previous…

Fruit flies detect cancer

New research published in Science Reports by Strauch et al., shows that fruit flies can tell the difference between cancerous and healthy cells. The researchers recorded calcium patterns indicative of neuronal activity that was stimulated in response to various odors emitted by healthy and cancerous cells. Because cells with cancer differ metabolically from healthy cells,…

Training dogs to smell bacteria

Researchers have actually trained a beagle named Cliff to detect the intestinal bacteria Clostridium difficile on patients and in stool samples that were collected from infected patients in the Netherlands. This infection is common in hospitals and long-term treatment facilities. Infection with the contagious C. diff results in diarrhea that has been responsible for the deaths…