Dogs have a nose for it

Now we know that dogs really do have a nose for it

THE secrets of a dog's extraordinary sense of smell have been unlocked. And it's good news for Fido, because the discovery could lead to mechanical sniffer dogs replacing the real thing for dangerous tasks such as detecting landmines.

Gary Settles, a mechanical engineer at Penn State University in University Park, says the military asked him and his colleagues to investigate the sniffing powers of man's best friend. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was working on landmine detection, says Settles, "and asked if we could understand how a dog can do what it does so well".

To find out, Settles took pictures of dogs smelling various scents. As dogs breathe, they draw in cooler air, which is then warmed by their bodies and exhaled. Using a technique called Schlieren photography, which records how gases of different temperatures refract light, the researchers obtained images showing the air currents produced by the noses of the sniffing dogs.

They found that a dog's astounding olfactory success comes partly from its ability to divert exhaled air away from a target scent. When a dog exhales, it moves its nose so that the air is deflected through slits on the side. As a result, the exhaled air flows backwards, away from the smell. This prevents the scent being confused with exhaled air, and sets up a current that pulls new air across the target, launching odour molecules into the air. When dogs inhale they shift their noses into an entirely different shape to draw in a large volume of air. Settles is submitting the results to The Journal of Experimental Biology.

"Their work has helped motivate ours," says Joel White, a neuroscientist at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. White is part of a team working with the Penn State researchers to develop an artificial nose that is just as good at detecting landmines as canine sniffers.

White says Settles's results are h

Contact: Claire Bowles
New Scientist

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New Arizona State center brings science to policy on issues of water resources and urban growth
2. K-State, other universities to study how climate affects plant evolution
3. K-States National Agricultural Biosecurity Center receives $1.3 Million from Department of Defense
4. K-State professor combines love of teaching, research to examine eye development
5. K-State researcher working to improve alternatives to equine antibiotics
6. Lung cancer patients in Japan, United States react differently to the same chemotherapy regimen
7. K-State business researchers to help with major study on food supply veterinary medicine
8. K-State researchers share $1 million grant to study insect pests
9. UC Riverside professor to spend year with US State Department
10. American Lung Associations 2004 State of the Air report ranks cities and counties with dirty air
11. K-State soil carbon sequestration research playing role in climate change efforts

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/12/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Mosio recently announced its newly updated text ... of all sizes. With a focus on tracking symptoms and monitoring outbreaks as ... Mosio helps public health departments automate communications and provide more personalized care and ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... 03, 2020 , ... Accumen Inc. is helping healthcare get ... Spectrum Solutions, to provide COVID-19 saliva testing kits nationally. , “Accumen has ... than 10 years. Early in the COVID-19 crisis, we identified supply chain gaps ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... , ... July 16, 2020 , ... ... demonstrates the effectiveness of the Invictus Medical Neoasis™ active noise control device to ... study reported that the Neoasis™ device attenuated the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2020)... ... 13, 2020 , ... True Terpenes , the leading platform for terpene ... (SAB) to research the medical potential of terpenes and the potential entourage effect ... The board is focused on expanding the recently launched line of effects-based terpenes - ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... WOODLANDS, Texas (PRWEB) , ... August 06, 2020 ... ... therapy and DNA vaccine industries, announces it has closed on the purchase of ... Technology Park in Conroe, TX and includes over 21 acres in the initial ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... BEDFORD, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... July 29, 2020 ... ... of highly reliable, solid-state radar transmitter systems that can be configured to drive ... a single controller that can drive one or two switches in a push-pull ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 30, 2020 , ... ... the life sciences industry, today announced the release of its signature product ... Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) and other field medical professionals. , Beacon ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: