How Dogs’ Sensitive Noses Could Change Cancer Diagnosis

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If you could “see” a smell, it would look something like a drop of food coloring dispersing through a cup of water with intense knots in some places and misty tendrils around the borders. Olfaction scientists call these “odor landscapes”—it’s why sometimes you get a whiff of a nasty smell while your cubiclemate sits blissfully unaware. Moving through these odor landscapes with a human nose is relatively unremarkable. Unless you’re near a bakery or a dirty diaper, a perfume counter or a freshly varnished bookcase, you’re unlikely to notice the many scent fields continuously curling and colliding around you.

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