New Scientist decided to explore the popular myth that dogs can detect cancer by putting a couple of sweet dogs to the test, having them sniff out small amounts of urine from both healthy individuals and from those who have cancer. What they found is that the dogs were accurate in pinpointing the cancerous cells about 90% of the time. One such dog, named Ollie, seems to really enjoy his job.
AT 8 o’clock every morning, Ollie leaves his house and sets off on the short drive to work at the local laboratory. Eager to get to going on his latest project, he greets his colleagues enthusiastically before donning his regulation lab coat and heading for the testing roomHere, Ollie begins his tour of a carousel which has small phials of urine attached to each arm. His job is simple – to take a gentle sniff of each one and let his boss know which of the samples contains a particular type of cancer. It is precise work, but Ollie gets it right over 90 per cent of the time. Not bad for a Labrador.