HUMANS often have a very low rating among God’s creation to dogs. You will have heard some do-gooder tell a fellow human: “You dog, get out of my sight!” If I were the target, I would certainly go away…because even dogs know the difference.
But here’s the brighter side of being a dog. A new study now tells us that our canine friends–for dogs are man’s best friend, aren’t they?–can smell cancer from a mere drop of human blood; That is, if that human blood happens to be some specimen from a cancer victim.
The study shows that dogs can use their highly evolved sense of smell to pick out blood samples from people with cancer with almost 97 per cent accuracy.
These results, we’re told, could now possibly lead to new cancer-screening processes that could be inexpensive and accurate without being invasive. “Although there is currently no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope of survival,” says Heather Junqueira, lead researcher at Bio- ScentDx, who also performed the study.
“A highly sensitive test for detecting cancer could potentially save thousands of lives and change the way the disease is treated,” she adds.
For this study, Junqueira and her colleagues used a form of clicker training to teach four beagles to distinguish between normal blood serum and samples from patients with malignant lung cancer.
Even though one of the beagles was unmotivated to perform, the other three dogs correctly identified lung cancer 96.7 percent of the time and normal samples 97.5 per cent of the time.
“This work is very exciting because it paves the way for further research along two paths, both of which could lead to new cancer detection tools,” Junqueira argues.
“One is using canine scent detection as a screening method for cancers, and the other would be to determine the biological compounds (which), the dogs detect and then design cancer-screening tests based on those compounds.”
This isn’t the first we humans have gone back to creation to seek solutions that utilize what’s available naturally; But then, it’s often more of an exception than the rule–and this rule has always given us humans the excuse to kill other animals in the process of experiments which require either ingestion (swallowing) and topical application of our socalled newfound medications.
And, unlike past practices, the researchers at BioScentDx now plan to use canine scent detection to develop what they call a “non-invasive way of screening” for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
“As a step forward, the firm (has since), launched a breast cancer study in which participants donate samples of their breath for screening by trained cancer-sniffing dogs. “…the researchers also plan to separate the samples into their chemical components and present these to the dogs to isolate the substances causing the ordour that the dogs detect.”
Now that’s truly remarkable work in which the humans assume the position of the proverbial “under-dog” position because, in this study at least, the real dogs seem to be taking the lead role.
It also tells an underside story of just how little we humans seem to understand the animal kingdom. Indeed, over very lives would be in jeopardy if someone hadn’t thought of using rats training rats to track down live bombs…otherwise left unexploded some place. Yes, those are the rodents some of us take for lunch but also have this hidden ability to save humanity.
In His infinite wisdom, the Creator humbles us proud (for nothing), humans into submission every time we learn that even the smallest of creatures have their place under the sun.
Yea, we might as well miss the notorious housefly if we suddenly ourselves surrounded by more obnoxious insects–on which the flies feed--in our midst along with the diseases they carry. Now, now, now…hold it.
There’s no way we can advocate any working relationship with houseflies; I would rather they were all dead…only that no matter how hard we’ve worked; There’s always been a place for them under the skies.
But we digress…we were talking about dogs. While we strive to learn each others’ languages, the human species has afforded precious little of time learning the languages of the creatures we keep for pets or even commerce.
For us believers, the Lord created Man specifically to provide stewardship over His other creation, right? But are we…really doing it? Evidence lies in how little we know about what the little animals already know well in advance.
How many human lives would be saved from earthquakes, for instance, if only we could take that little time to learn how cats do it?
Not all is lost, though: When the birds begin flying in the wrong direction, the Tuaregs know that drought isn’t far off– and so migrate out of harm’s way. But who listens to them?.
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