Study findings: Ants can smell cancer in urine | Flavor | Smell

[The Epoch Times, Ionawr 27, 2023](Reported by Epoch Times reporter Chen Juncun) It is well known that ants can lift things that are sometimes heavier than their body weight. Now, scientists have discovered that the little flies have another “superpower” – they can “smell” if mice have cancer because of the smell of their urine. Scientists will investigate whether this ability also applies to human urine.

Several types of cancer can cause changes in the smell of sweat and urine, previous research has shown, according to the National News Agency (PA). And in a new study, French researchers have found that ants can distinguish between these differences in taste to screen who has cancer.

Ants could be used as low-cost bioassays to screen cancer patients because the insects have a very sensitive sense of smell, researchers say.

The author of the study, Patrizia d’Ettorre, a professor at Sorbonne University Paris Nord in France, said that the ants are easy to train, learn quickly and efficiently when detecting, and that the cost of raising them is not loudly.

In the study, published in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, researchers exposed 70 black mountain ants (Formica fusca) to urine samples from mice, including tumor and tumor-free mice.

After three trials, the ants could tell the difference between the smell of urine from healthy mice and those with cancer.

They used rewards to train the ants in an associative learning method to familiarize them with the smell of the urine of mice affected by cancer, D’Ettore told the National News Agency. So they learned the link between the smell and cancer.

The study confirms that ants can tell the difference between the smell of urine from healthy mice and those with cancer, said D’Ettore. This is closer to the real life situation than using artificially cultured cancer cells.

“We were amazed by the efficiency and reliability of these ants,” he said.

The researchers said they wanted to see if ants could also identify cancer patients from the smell of human urine.

Previous studies have shown that dogs can be trained to detect cancer in people from the smell of their urine. But the human nose cannot smell cancer in urine.

The Epoch Times previously reported that puppies can also sniff out whether people have lung cancer from blood samples with an accuracy rate of nearly 97 percent. This brings new hope for early diagnosis of lung cancer.

Editor in charge: Li Ming

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