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The Nose Knows: How Dogs Are Saving Citrus Trees

Scientists reveal that many of our canine companions, being true to their noses and their amazing sense of smell, can sniff out the disease way ahead of time to avert potential disaster for citrus growers and every stop along the proverbial food chain, including disappointed consumers. In fact, dogs can be trained to smell out HLB weeks and even years before anyone else knows there’s a problem, according to a recent study written in part by Timothy Gottwald, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher. Gottwald told PBS News Hour that the “technology” of a dog’s nose is thousands of years old. “We’ve just trained dogs to hunt new prey: the bacteria that causes a very damaging crop disease.” With all the doom and gloom over the lack of remedial devices to stop or at least slow the disease, Gottwald was happy to report that in just one experiment during which dogs were taken to a grapefruit orchard in Texas to pick which trees were diseased and which were healthy, they were right on the nose (so to speak) 95% of the time.  Read more....

 

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