Navigation Links
Researchers Training Rats To Diagnose TB

The Seattle Times recently examined how researchers in Tanzania are training rats to diagnose tuberculosis by sniffing sputum samples. The researchers' efforts "capitalize" on the rats' strong sense of smell and appetite, according to the Times.

Bart Weetjens, a former industrial designer, developed the idea of training rats to detect TB, as well as land mines, after he visited minefields and saw German shepherds sniffing for buried explosives. Weetjens said that training the rats is simple and that it involves associating a "food reward with a target scent."

The rats, which have an average life span of six to eight years, are indigenous in many parts of Africa and are resistant to local diseases, according to the Times. Low-cost, rapid TB screening using the rats would be valuable in Africa, particularly in areas where clinics lack microscopes, according to Weetjens.

In verification tests, rats were shown to be about as accurate as human laboratory technicians who work with microscopes and 100 times faster at making diagnoses. Weetjens said that in a given week, rats spot five to 10 TB cases that hospital labs missed. Weetjens said he envisions developing mobile rat clinics that could screen samples in refugee camps, prisons and other areas with high rates of TB. Medical workers could then confirm positive samples.

However, the idea of using rats to diagnose TB is facing some skepticism, the Times reports. "When I first suggested it, everyone laughed at me," Weetjens said. Richard Chaisson of the Center for Tuberculosis Research Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University said that although the idea is novel, there are "enormous issues of practicality and feasibility."

Weetjens has acknowledged that there are challenges associated with the method but said that "out-of-the-box thinking can really revolutionize things." Other animals have shown potential diagnostic capabilities, such as dogs that appea r able to detect cancer in humans. It is unclear which molecules the animals are detecting, but some diseases can cause scent changes that are detectable even to humans. Weetjens received a grant from the World Bank to build his lab and is hoping to bring in additional donations on his Web site, HeroRat.org, from people who want to adopt individual animals.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Researchers urge caution in using ear tube surgery
2. Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids
3. Researchers trick Alzheimers Enzyme
4. Researchers find new HIV hiding place
5. New Hair in 15 Days Could Now Be A Possibility Say Researchers
6. Researchers developed world’s smallest toothbrus
7. Researchers discover receptor cells that can cause epilepsy
8. 15 Anti-SARS Drugs Identified By China-Europe Team of Researchers
9. Researchers reversed the process of memory loss
10. Researchers Identify Key Gene That May Help Brain Treatment
11. Researchers Discover Protein That Causes Malaria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported by ... lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest common ... the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join ... wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase ... of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology ... past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. ... World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market for ... report includes the following: , World IVD ... (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD Companion ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, ... Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market ... at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: