Smell Me, I’m Healthy

June 19, 2007

Brady sent me this fantabulous article from We-Make-Money-Not-Art. Check out the picture to the right and tell me what you think it is.

Did you answer “bee bong”? I know, that’s what I thought, too, but it’s not.

No, this is actually part of a project by Susana Soares of the Royal College of the Arts in England, and it’s a contraption she’s rigged to use bees to help detect explosives, pregnancy and diseases like lung cancer, tuberculosis, and mesothelioma by smell (OK, I’m not sure that it really detects mesothelioma, but mesothelioma is a huge, huge pay-off of on Google Adwords, so if you see a mesothelioma link in the Google Ads on this blog, go ahead and click it, because I’m pretty sure I’ll get big bucks from some law firm looking to make money off of class action law suits).

Sorry, that was kind of a long parenthetical. Where was I?

Anyway, so you may remember my post back in 2005 about how bees can be trained to recognize human faces. Susana uses classical conditioning of bees as well, except with smell: teach the bees to associate food with the a pregnant woman’s breath or a mesotheliomiac’s breath, then put them in one of these contraptions and have someone breath into it. If the person is pregnant or has mesotheliomia, the bees will go right to the chamber the breath is entering through. If not, they won’t.

Amazing. Read the whole article. It’s wack

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