Ants can smell cancerous tumors in urine samples!

Thanks to their powerful olfactory receptors, ants can detect cancerous tumors by smell, according to a new study. In this study, it has been shown that ants Formica fusca They can detect tumors by smelling patients’ urine.

“Patricia Ettore,” one of the authors of this study and a researcher at the Sorbonne University in Paris North, says:

“Ants can be used as biodetectors to distinguish healthy individuals from those with tumors. “They are easy to train, they learn quickly, they are very efficient and they are not expensive to maintain.”

As Scientific American emphasizes, volatile organic compounds specifically released by cancerous tumors are often found in physiological fluids, including sweat and urine, as well as breath vapor.


Detection of cancerous tumors by ants

Baptiste Pikere, lead author of the study, and his team began their work for the study by transplanting human breast cancer tumors into mice and growing them. Then, urine samples were taken from healthy and tumor-affected animals. They then found that almost 20 percent more ants remained around the urine of mice with malignant tumors.

Remarkably, the ants were able to detect cancerous tumors in a total of about 10 minutes, which is much faster than training dogs to detect cancer, which can take up to six months.

Ettore explains:

“We showed that ants can distinguish the urine of healthy mice from the urine of tumor-bearing mice. “We were surprised at how efficient and reliable ants are.”

The black ant Formica fusca, also called silk ant or black ant, is found throughout Europe, as well as some parts of South Asia and Africa.

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