Bees Can Detect Cancer In Minutes / by john cheng

Since my employment at City of Hope, as well as having many close friends and family who have been affected by cancer, interesting new studies on cancer detection and treatments continue to amaze and pique my interests. Check out this new study of how bees can detect cancer in minutes!

Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.

Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.