AI emulates trained dogs’ ability to detect cancer and other diseases, including COVID-19

Credit: Irina Bekulova
Credit: Irina Bekulova

Humans already employ [dogs’] olfactory acuity for contraband and explosives detection. More recently it has also proved uncannily good at sensing cancers, diabetes—and even COVID-19. Exactly how dogs detect diseases is a mystery, but that has not stopped researchers from mimicking this prowess with an artificial-intelligence-based noninvasive diagnostic tool.

In a study published in February in PLOS ONE, a multinational team reported an AI-powered system that is as accurate as trained dogs at correctly identifying cases of prostate cancer from urine samples. Massachusetts Institute of Technology research scientist Andreas Mershin, one of the study’s co-authors, wants to eventually integrate the technology into smartphones: There would be a tiny sensor in the phone with AI software running in the cloud. “We found we could repeat the training you use for dogs on the machines until we can’t tell the difference between the two,” he says.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Those diseases might include COVID-19. Early small-scale efforts suggest that dogs can be trained to sniff out COVID infections. “There seems to be evidence that COVID patients might emit ammonia at trace levels that dogs could be sniffing,” says [chemical engineering professor] Otto Gregory.


Read the original post

Related article:  'Like trying to hit a moving target': Why it's so difficult to attack cancer with targeted gene therapies
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend