In early trials, the Cyranose has diagnosed cases of pneumonia and sinusitis—not perfectly, but reliably enough to serve as a screening test. As these tools become more sensitive over time, and more technologically advanced, there’s a very good chance that one could walk into a physician’s office, and exhale into a device like this, and have a diagnostic screen done for any of a number of different things. He says the nose could help doctors avoid giving the wrong treatment, and start the right treatment more quickly. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society. You might have thought strange breath odors just came from eating garlic, or not brushing your teeth. But many diseases have distinctive breath signatures. People with liver disease often have a fishy, livery smell on their breath.
Kidney disease can cause your breath to smell like urine. Diabetes can produce a fruity, sweet smell. Some of these smells are so strong that they have been used as diagnostic tools since ancient times. But many other things that go wrong in the body can create odors that aren’t so obvious to our insensitive noses. Odors are just gases, after all, and as long as you have a device that can reliably tell one gas from the other, you can spot the marker for that disease. That’s what the Cyranose is for. The immediate goal is to diagnose pneumonia and sinusitis quickly in intensive care words.
Patients who develop these conditions need antibiotics as soon as possible. However, doctors are careful not to over-prescribe antibiotics, because doing so helps breed drug-resistant bacteria. Right now, diagnosing pneumonia accurately involves a battery of blood tests, X rays, and other techniques that take considerable time. Hanson’s team has found that the Cyranose can spot pneumonia cases pretty accurately just by sampling the gas that the patient exhales. The goal here isn’t for the Cyranose to replace more elaborate diagnostic tools. Rather, it’s meant to be a quick screening device that tells doctors whether or not they should continue testing for pneumonia and start treatment just in case. For doctors in an intensive care ward, this could free up a lot of time and energy for other patients, and would also cut down on unnecessary antibiotic use while getting treatment faster to patients who need it.
The researchers plan to refine the device in three ways. First, they’ll test it against even more accurate diagnostic tools, to get a clear sense of exactly how reliable the Cyranose is. Second, they’ll work with engineers to improve the sensitivity of the device. And finally, they’ll keep working on the mathematical models that interpret all the gases in a patient’s breath and use them to spit out a «yes» or «no» diagnosis. And eventually, they plan to branch out into other diseases, with the goal of making a single device that could be used to scan for a wide range of medical problems. What is an electronic nose?
How does the nose test for pneumonia? How are the scientists measuring the nose’s accuracy? Can you think of other uses for an electronic nose besides medical diagnosis? Did you find this resource helpful? Have you tried this lesson? Follow these steps to clean up stains and get rid of odors when your dog or cat pees or poops on floors or furniture in your house.
You don’t need to get rid of your pets to get rid of stains and odors. Add a one-pound box of baking soda to your regular detergent and wash as usual, air-drying if possible. If you can still see or smell the soiling, wash again with an enzymatic cleaner — these break down pet-waste odors. If your pet soils the sheets or blankets on a bed, cover the bed with a vinyl, flannel-backed tablecloth while you retrain them. It’s machine washable, inexpensive and unattractive to your pet. Soak up as much of the urine as possible: Place a thick layer of paper towels on the wet spot, and cover that with a thick layer of newspaper. If possible, put newspaper under the soiled area as well.
Stand on this padding for about a minute, and repeat until the area is barely damp. Rinse the «accident zone» thoroughly with clean, cool water, blotting dry. Consider renting a carpet cleaner from your local hardware or grocery store. Use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer once the area is clean. Use carpet stain remover if the area still looks stained after it’s completely dry after extracting and neutralizing. Avoid using steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery. The heat will permanently set the stain and the odor by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers. Avoid cleaning chemicals such as ammonia or vinegar. Strong chemical odors may encourage your pet to reinforce the urine scent mark in that area. Your job will be more difficult if urine has soaked down into the padding underneath your carpet. In some cases, you may need to replace portions of carpet and padding.