A French study says dogs can sniff out signs of prostate cancer in human urine — a finding that could lead to better cancing-sensing technology, according to its lead author.
While some scientists have questioned similar reports of dogs with such diagnostic powers in recent years, French researcher Jean-Nicolas Cornu, who works at Hospital Tenon in Paris, said, “The dogs are certainly recognizing the odor of a molecule that is produced by cancer cells.”
Researchers don’t know what that molecule is, according to U.S. News & World Report, but the study’s findings could prove useful in the detection of cancer, which often goes undetected until it is too late to treat.
Urine tests can turn up signs of prostate cancer, Cornu said, but miss some cases.
In the study, two researchers spent a year training a Belgian Malinois, a breed already used to detect drugs and bombs.
The dog was trained to differentiate between urine samples from men with prostate cancer and men without. Ultimately, researchers placed groups of five urine samples in front of the dog to see if it could identify the sole sample from a man with prostate cancer. The dog correctly classified 63 out of 66 specimens.
If the findings hold up in other studies, they’ll be “pretty impressive,” said urologist Dr. Anthony Y. Smith, who was to moderate a discussion on the findings Tuesday at the American Urological Association annual meeting in San Francisco.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 2nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, belgian malinois, cancer, detect, detecting, detection, diagnostic, disease, dogs, france, french, hospital tenon, jean-nicolas cornu, medicine, molecule, news, odor, ohmidog!, paris, pets, prostate, research, science, sniffing, study, urine
Students at Woodlands High School in Conroe, Texas raised $9,000 to help purchase a land-mine sniffing dog — only to see the money snatched by a thief.
Teacher Susan Hollier said about 2,000 people from across the community attended a Woodlands High School walk and fundraising festival on Saturday.
Two student clubs — Interact and the Council on International Affairs — started working on the project in February, with hopes of raising $20,000 to pay for the purchase and training of a Belgian Malinois. The dogs are sent around the world to detect mines so communities in such places as Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam can use the land again.
Part of the money raised was also going to pay for a Woodlands High student to travel to Bosnia to see the dogs in action. The clubs’ project dog was going to visit the high school in May.
Around noon Saturday, though, a suspect grabbed a box of donated money from a student and ran, according to the Houston Chronicle. Hollier said all but $253 was stolen.
“It’s really just heartbreaking, especially when this one dog would save up to 10,000 lives in its five to seven years of service,” said Shelby Howard, 18, president of Interact. “It’s really hard to see all our hard work just taken from us in a matter of seconds. It’s hard to believe someone would go to that level.”
What are the clubs going to do about it? Start all over again, Shelby said. “We’re definitely not going to just let it go. This is a worthy cause.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, animals, belgian malinois, clubs, conroe, council on international affairs, detect, dog, donations, interact, iraq, land-mine, mines, money, news, ohmidog!, pets, purchase, raising, sniffing, students, texas, theft, vietnam, woodlands high school
The Virginian-Pilot this week sniffed out a doozy of a story — about how 49 dogs supposedly trained in bomb detection for the Navy by a private security contractor failed to pass muster and were returned to the contractor, only to apparently languish in the months that followed.
The Navy originally picked up the dogs last spring from Securitas Security Services USA, a private security contractor in Chicago. But once the dogs arrived at Naval bases, not a one was able to find planted explosives during military certification tests, according to the Navy.
The Navy sent the dogs back to the contractor, then later decided to end the contract with Securitas, buying the 49 dogs and training them on its own.
When the Navy went to retrieve to dogs on Oct. 5, according to Navy emails obtained by the newspaper, the dogs were dirty, weak and so thin that their ribs and hip bones jutted out.
In the emails, a civilian official describes the dogs’ condition as “deplorable” and says he feared the dogs would have died if the military hadn’t come to get them.
In fact, the Navy said later, at least two of the dogs didn’t survive, and several others were deemed too sick to be of use, the newspaper reported. Nearly a year after they were supposed to have begun working, the remaining K-9s still are not patrolling Navy installations as intended.
It was the first time the Navy had procured dogs trained by an outside contractor. In the past, it trained its own dogs to help protect its bases and ships.
Securitas disputes that the dogs were poorly trained and neglected, and says that the Navy still owes it money — more than $6 million for its services and for the animals. Jim McNulty, an executive vice president, said the dogs were healthy and well-fed when the Navy picked them up a second time. He disputed that they were kept in a warehouse. “They were in excellent shape,” he said.
Securitas bought the dogs for about $465,000 from Vohne Liche Kennels, an Indiana-based business that offers work-ready police dogs as well as training courses for handlers.
When the Navy canceled the contract, it paid $800,000 to Securitas for the dogs, according to Securitas.
The state of Illinois has launched an investigation into the dogs’ treatment.
The Navy’s shift to privately trained explosives-detection dogs came as part of a decision in 2008 to outsource a number of base security services. In January 2009, Lockheed announced it had signed a $350 million, five-year contract with the military, part of which called for Lockheed to provide explosives-detection dogs to supplement the Navy’s own K-9 forces and free up more Navy dogs to deploy overseas.
Soon after it signed the agreement, Lockheed subcontracted the K-9 portion to Securitas. Securitas began offering K-9 services about seven years ago.
In a written statement, the Navy said it expects 39 of the original 49 dogs to eventually patrol installations as intended. Several are now being cared for and trained at bases in the Hampton Roads area.
(US NAVY photo)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bases, bomb, chicago, contractors, defense, detection, dogs, explosives, illinois, K-9, k9, lockheed, military, naval, navy, neglect, news, outsourcing, ribs, securitas, security, showing, sniffing, training, underfed
All three bomb-sniffing dogs handled by the Transportation Security Administration at Philadelphia International Airport have lost their certification after having failed their last two tests.
And Fox News reports the problems may extend beyond that: Sources say about a dozen of the 700 TSA dogs at 85 airports have failed the tests as well.
A TSA spokesman said the three dogs in Philadelphia — after failing standard tests in November and December — are continuing intensive training to regain their certification, and are continuing to work at the airport as a “visual deterrent.”
The dogs, trained in at Lackland Air Force base in Texas, completed the 10-week course all TSA dogs must successfully pass.
Ten other city police dogs assigned to Philadelphia’s airport passed the tests.
The TSA spokesman said the agency is working quickly to recertify the bomb sniffing dogs and assured the traveling public that security would not suffer.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 6th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: airport, bomb, certification, detecting, dogs, explosive, fail, international, K-9, k9, lackland, philadelphia, police, recertification, security, sniffing, tests, training, transporation security administration, tsa
Among all the things dogs’ noses are sniffing out to make the world a better and safer place — drugs, explosives, missing children, fleeing felons, diseases, bedbugs, pirated cds, sewage leaks, cell phones in prisons — here’s one I hadn’t heard of:
A Princeton, New Jersey, company is using canines to detect potentially lethal mold in homes, offices and classrooms.
1-800-GOT-MOLD? calls itself America’s leading mold inspection company, and claims to be the nation’s first franchise operation to recruit man’s best friend to pinpoint the location of hidden mold in buildings, preventing potential health dangers, which include fatigue, headaches, respiratory problems, and even cancer.
Mold Dogs (and the term has been trademarked) can locate the source of hidden mold growth, even in its early stages.
The company’s founder, Jason Earle, realized that traditional mold-detection involved a lot of guesswork. While air sampling is commonly used to detect household molds, it often fails to locate the precise source of the problem.
Mold Dogs save time and money and allow the company to avoid unnecessary invasive procedures, according to Earle, who suffered from mold-related health complications as a child.
Earle’s dog Oreo is the first mold detection dog in the northeast and one of the first nationwide, he says.
(Photo: Oreo, courtesy of 1-800-GOT-MOLD? )
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1800gotmold, company, dangers, detecting, detection, dog, got mold, health, hidden, jason earle, mold, mold detection, mold dogs, noses, oreo, princeton, sniffing, source, trained