Sunday, November 26, 2023

Can You Smell If You Have Covid or Cancer?

 Humans have the ability to smell, but not as strong as some of our other mammal species. What I learned is that Human Scent is influenced by many factors, one of them being genetics. The group of genes linked to the body's immune system is important when influencing the production of proteins and chemicals contributing to body odor. Sweat, oils, and other bodily secretions undergo transformations through interactions on the skin surface, creating a unique scent for each individual. 

Odor is composed of organic compounds emitted from the skin and carries information about a person. Researchers who have looked into human scent have inspected these odors, and chemicals to reveal their potential in forensics and healthcare. In the study, they revealed that human scent is all due to genetics. In 1988 research showed that identical twins living in different environments and exposed to different things have the same distinct scent that trained dogs can distinguish which is really interesting.

Medical detection dogs have benefitted the medical community a lot over the past few years. They can detect seizures, diabetic fluctuations, and diseases like cancer, and covid. There are many service dogs who do an incredible job at detecting these things benefitting their owner's overall well-being.  Human scent is very interesting and it reveals a lot about a person, even though we can not be able to identify all those issues unlike dogs can it is still fascinating that there are animals out there that can smell these problems before they happen, and are trained to help individuals with these issues. 


Study of body odor


  1. Scent is a very interesting sense to study especially in mammals such as dogs. Medical detection dogs are a huge asset in the way that they can detect minute changes in chemical scent to indicate life threatening conditions. The genetic component of human scent is also very interesting that identical twins have the same scent despite living in separate environments their whole lives.

  2. This is pretty cool! I knew that dogs were able to detect seizures and other diseases with smell but not covid or cancer. If human were able to do that I would think that would be amazing.

  3. That's pretty interesting, I've heard that dogs are able to smell various things like disease, but I didn't expect there to be so much truth to that. Has there been any notable research giving leads on how dogs are able to detect seizures and various illnesses like COVID?