Insect odor diagnostics – medical practice

A breakthrough in cancer diagnosis has been achieved

It will be in the near future Diagnosis of insect cancer in humans? Recent research indicates this, as it was possible with an insect sense of smell and a special sensor different types of oral cancer identify.

In a recent study by experts on Michigan State University studied whether locusts could recognize different types of cancer by smell. The results can be found on the English biological science prepress server “BioRxiv”.

Diagnosis of diseases in animals

In the past, animals have been trained to detect certain diseases in humans. For example, dogs can sniff out cancer or COVID-19.

Can an insect feel cancer?

There is one now a new approach to cancer diagnosis insects. The so-called VOC sensor based on the neural circuit of the insect sense of smell.

Evidence of cancer in exhaled air

That Metabolic processes in cancer cells are altered, according to researchers, has already been clearly demonstrated. This is reflected in the composition volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the exhaled air of affected people.

The researchers designed a new VOC sensor for which the in vivo insect brain was first combined with an electrophysiological platform. With that
For that Composition of volatile organic compounds from individual cell cultures triggered nervous olfactory reactions in the so-called Antenna screens analyzed, the area of ​​the brain in insects.

The insect sniffed out three types of oral cancer

On the one hand, it was possible three different types of human oral cancer distinguish each other reliably. On the other hand, the use of a sensor also allowed three types of cancer from one distinguish a non-cancerous oral cell lineaccording to the team.

The classification of oral cancer works reliably

By evaluating VOC-induced neuronal responses in cancer and without cancer, we show that the classification of oral cancer based on olfactory neuronal response is sensitive and reliable.“Researchers report.

Cancer detection took 250 ms

Another advantage is that this brain-based approach to cancer identification leads to results very quicklywhereas the detection time according to researchers is only 250 ms lies.

The team also proved that the new method of cancer diagnosis is effective in changing the chemical environment mimic natural conditions.

Our brain-based cancer detection system includes a new VOC sensing method that will support the development of other advanced technologies for non-invasive cancer detection.Experts summed up. (as)

Author and resource information

This text conforms to the specifications of the medical literature, medical recommendations and current studies and has been reviewed by medical experts.


  • Alexander Farnum, Michael Parnas, Ehsanul Hoque Apu, Elyssa Cox, Noël Lefevre et al .: The use of insect olfactory neural circuits for non-invasive detection of human cancer; in: BioRxiv (published 25.05.2022), BioRxiv

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It can’t replace a doctor’s visit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.