Ongoing Study Looks Into Dogs’ Sense of Smell

Ongoing Study Looks Into Dogs Sense of Smell - Ongoing Study Looks Into Dogs' Sense of Smell

A collaboration between six US universities under the Odor Navigation Project (ONJ) is attempting to give a long-awaited answer on what gives dogs their superb sense of smell, as reported by KQED.

The purpose of the study is to find ways to create smarter devices that detect hazards such as bombs, toxic chemicals, and drugs.

It’s believed that a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 stronger than that of a human.

Zinka, a German shepherd involved in ONJ’s research, can detect a person passing through woods days later even during rain.

There’s no current consensus on what makes dogs so good at sniffing, but Zinka’s handler found out that the dog is better at sniffing at more humid conditions.

The KQED quoted John Crimaldi, ONJ’s lead principal investigator, as saying:

“Ultimately, we want to build a mechanistic model so that we can actually understand how the brain functions when searching for an odor source.”

A Penn State MRI study found out that other animals with a strong sense of smell share a similar structure in their noses as dogs.

Researchers at the university also used 3D-printed dog nose to get a closer look at the mechanics of how dogs smell and concluded that the distinctive slits on the sides of dogs’ noses play a role in their ability to distinguish scents.

The results from the Zinka-involving study are expected to come out at the end of this year.

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