Human diseases and health conditions—including a variety of cancers, diabetes, UTIs, epilepsy and malaria—have odor signatures. Lucky for us, dogs are experts in identifying them, using their special superpower: their sense of smell. Their latest challenge? Covid-19.

A lot of out-of-the-box thinking has been deployed in the race to find ways to identify and treat those infected with Covid-19. One of the ideas, which builds on what has long been known about the canine sense of smell, was recently announced by a team of researchers from the UK’s London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Medical Detection Dogs (a registered charity) and Durham University.

Following up on their 2018 proof-of-concept study that identified dogs’ capacity to quickly and accurately sniff out malaria in even asymptomatic individuals, the team suggests that they could be trained to do the…

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