A Portuguese designer has created a device that can detect cancer by using honeybees.
Susana Soares, a Portugal designer, first trained bees by giving them some certain odors to smell before feeding them a mixture of water and sugar. The bees can then remember the smell for their lifetime, if they are regularly fed on a mixture of water and sugar.
After she completes the training, the bees are placed in a glass box with 2 compartments of different sizes. The patient will breath into a compartment with wider area. Susana said that if bees fly into smaller compartments, this means they discovered the disease.
The finding was brought up at a conference in Eindhoven (Netherlands), Mrs. Susana said: "The bees were trained to fly into only smaller compartment if they detect the smell of patient’s breath which is similar to odor he smelled when training. Bees can be trained within 10 minutes. "
Susana and her colleagues believe that the trained bees can accurately detect diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin cancer as well as diabetes.
Scientists have found that honeybee have more sensitive sense of smell than dogs’. Bees can be trained to detect bombs. Currently, a company called Insectinel is training bees to sniff so that they are expected to join the anti-terrorist campaign.