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They're starting to do some really interesting things with dogs nowadays.

There was a report on tv a few months ago about a dog that can detect very early stages of cancer in a person, just by sniffing them. The dog could even point out the exact location on the body.

The scientists were really puzzled and said, "There's no cancer here!" But after more thorough research, they discovered a microscopic bit of cancer, that even the most sophisticated and technologically advanced machines couldn't pick up on at first.

Best friend indeed: New British research on the cancer-sniffing ability of canines suggests yet another reason why dogs are aptly nicknamed “man’s best friend.”

According to John Kirkwood, a professor of medicine in Pitt’s School of Medicine and director of the Melanoma Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, the most plausible explanation for how a dog detects melanoma—the most severe type of skin cancer, which kills 8,000 people a year in the United States—“is that up to a quarter of melanomas may have a break in the skin with traces of bleeding,” he said in an Oct. 26 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. 

A more complex explanation could be that dogs can sense molecular markers of certain skin cancers—recognized by the human immune system as antigens. A dog’s “sense of olfaction may be in a sense akin to the immunological ability to recognize different things on the basis of molecular constituents,” Kirkwood was quoted as saying.[/B]
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