Francis Steed, University Of Pennsylvania Walking Dogs Center, Washington Post discussed on The Daily Dive
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I always love a good dog story. So your article caught my eye and right now there's a study going on. That's actually teaching dogs to see if they can detect the novel Corona virus obviously, we know that dogs have enhanced olfactory senses. They can smell a lot of things already we know a bomb sniffing dogs, they can smell explosives they can already smell other diseases, things like cancers and whatnot. So right now they're being trained, there's a group of them being trained to sniff out the covid nineteen so Francis tell us a little bit about this. So this is a study being done by the University of Pennsylvania Walking Dogs Center based in Philadelphia, there are a couple of. Other, very good studies being done around the world one specifically at the London school, Hygiene and tropical mets. As you mentioned dogs, I'm very good at smelling you that these dogs being trained by the people who also walk with special ops dogs, dogs that will do very high level sent what with explosives and things. So we know that many diseases do create a smell. If you think about people have diabetes that are known to have a fruity smelling urine when people get sick that breath often changes and these could be signs of illness. So the question these are such wants to know is, is there a distinct smell attached to this new disease the corona virus that produces covert? Him has been causing such disaster around the world and that's what they're doing using the same equipment. They would use to teach dogs to detect explosives the way they do this to take in this case deactivated form of the virus. If they were doing an explosive, they would take explosives and have the dog slip it, and at the beginning for recognizing that smell then the. Smell on what's called a sent wheel among many other tempting smells and the dogs learned to recognize and get rewarded for recognizing the appropriate smell. After that, you can go out and test and see if the dog can recognize that small among many many other smells and that's what I was witnessing play school greencastle Pennsylvania at a dog training center a couple of months ago. Program, has been going on for about ten weeks or so now and they're finding out that some of the dogs are actually really accurate in predicting this and they're hoping that if they can. Detect that sensor and really hone in on that. They could even find people who might be a symptomatic and have colvin ninety. So what I was saying sort of. Action, the dog accuracy was stunning. They were testing deactivated urine urine that come from positive patients at the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's hospital. was once the activated was put into these camps that the dogs were circling looking for, and they were very very accurate. They can go from that to test other things like saliva also see them or sweat of him as sort sticky substance that succeeded on people's backs, and we'll shop on t shirts. They're going to ask people to wear t shirts, people who've recently been tested, and then to return them and see if the dogs can recognize the smell people's t shirts if that's true and these results look very promising, there is the possibility that dogs could one day be deployed an airport now they're actually is. This week news of a test that whole simpler than this it's actually taking samples of t shirts and this happened after my article was published but taking samples of t shirts and Dubai airport and dog sitting US look at those samples and we haven't yet had the results of those tests whether they're accurate. But you can see the huge possibility also huge possibility but using dogs and the first stage of developing electronic noses, which could be less invasive and can what twenty four seven instead of the day that don't have to what and these kind of Breathalyzer type knows is the same things that using the cuming industry. There are some doubts about using dogs in this sense to sniff out people with cove in nineteen. I guess some of the detractors say there's problems with scaling it up things like that but the accuracy could be there but just the time that it takes the train, the dogs might not be the kind of expense and the accuracy is seems if it's very good at the moment at the. Time and expense, and then safety issues of course, for hands and dogs who could be deployed an APP. What we know to not disease does that came from animals and also this disease moved into the animal population. All those issues are extremely important in moving had with potentially deploying dogs, which is one of the reasons why not it knows could be so much more efficient and say going ahead. What does the dog breeds there are being used in this particular study right? The one I saw was eight labradors and one Belgian Mountain Wa Belgian along with a dog that had a little bit more experience with other smells beforehand in London that using Spaniels. I believe and some labradors and the French study, the study that sampled t shirts, and that's usually Belgian. I honest about the dogs because the dog that's most famous for it snows of course, the bloodhound and I said, why don't use a bloodhound and the train ability factor with a labrador that wants so much to please or another working dog like a Spaniel makes them very very inviting to these trainers what Doug do tonto if you wanted to have an easy to work with and? They. These tend to be typical dog. We like Spaniels and labradors I'm a dog lover myself I just always geek out at these types of stories and just kind of endless possibilities that we can use these animals for and so this is just another great one. So in the end of this whole thing, they're not necessarily sniffing out cove in nineteen itself there's these things called. Organic compounds, and this is how the virus would break down other cells in the body, and this is really what they're smelling what they're sniffing out for. That's what we believe because we actually don't know yet exactly what I fan that's one of the mystery hanging over this, and that's why the chemistry and physics will come in later and developing an electronic noses narrowing down exactly which molecules people released. But we do know smell the chemicals up molecules that are released from bodies and they changed with sickness. So these both look compounds with shedding all the time we should differ blunts fix. Francis Steed sellers senior writer at the Washington Post. Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you very much having me. Talk. That's it for today. Join US on social media. Daily, pod, both twitter, and instagram. Leave. A comment. Give us a rating and tell us the stories that you're interested in. All of us on iheartradio or subscriber every get your podcast. This episode of the daily divers produced by Victor Right in engineered by Tony's Tina. I'm Oscar Ramirez this. Daily died. 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