Glass Orb Enables Bees To Sniff Out Cancerous Cells [Pics]

Glass Orb Enables Bees To Sniff Out Cancerous Cells [Pics]
Design & Architecture

Designer Susana Soares came up with a concept device that uses honey bees to detect cancer and other illnesses through scent.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 22 november 2013

Portuguese designer Susana Soares developed a concept device that can detect cancer and other diseases through scent using honey bees that have been trained to do so. Scientific research has shown that bees have an acute sense of smell and can be trained to detect certain smells in a person’s breath. The bees in Soares’s project were trained to detect odors associated with lung, skin, and pancreatic cancer and other diseases like tuberculosis.

The project consists of glass orbs with two chambers. The bees are placed in the larger chamber. A patient exhales into the device and if the bees detect disease they rush into the smaller chamber. According to Soares, the bees can be trained in only ten minutes through a Pavlovian test with food reward.

The device could possible provide an alternate and less invasive way to detect illnesses, especially life-threatening ones.

Soares presented her project at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.


Susana Soares

Source and Images: Inhabitat

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