Detecting the Scent of a Billionth of a Teaspoon?


You knew dogs had a keen scent of smell that leaves ours in the dust, but a billionth of a teaspoon’s worth? That’s what chemists found at Canada’s University of Alberta when they trained dogs to detect the scent of gasoline and other ignitable fluids. Methods used to detect the scent in laboratories have fallen short by comparison.

Why would you want to train dogs to pick up even the most infinitesimal traces of gasoline or other liquid fire “accelerant?” They can help figure out if a fire was the work of an arsonist lighting the fluid to set a house or other structure ablaze. The research was supported by the Canine Accelerant Detection Association.


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