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Dogs accurately sniff out cancer in human blood
Dogs in the study could detect cancer in blood with almost 97 per cent accuracy.
Study could lead to non-invasive screening method

Dogs can use their powerful sense of smell to accurately identify cancer in human blood, according to new research.

A study led by research and development firm BioScent DX found that dogs could detect the disease in blood with almost 97 per cent accuracy. The findings, presented at the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting (April 6-9) in Orlando, may lead to new non-invasive ways to detect cancer.

"Although there is currently no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope of survival," said lead researcher Heather Junqueira. "A highly sensitive test for detecting cancer could potentially save thousands of lives and change the way the disease is treated."

In the study, researchers used clicker training to train four beagles to
differentiate between normal blood and samples from patients with malignant lung cancer. Three out of the four dogs correctly identified lung cancer samples 96.7 per cent of the time and normal samples 97.5 per cent of the time.

"This work is very exciting because it paves the way for further research along two paths, both of which could lead to new cancer-detection tools," said Junqueira.

"One is using canine scent detection as a screening method for cancers, and the other would be to determine the biologic compounds the dogs detect and then design cancer-screening tests based on those compounds."

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Wales to ban third party puppy and kitten sales

News Story 1
 The Welsh Government has said it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.

A consultation in February received nearly 500 responses, most of whom called for greater action to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises.

Concerns were also raised about online sales, impulse buying, breeder accountability and illegal puppy imports.

A consultation will now be held on plans to implement a ban. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said she will also revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions.  

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WHO declares Congo Ebola outbreak an international health emergency

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move comes after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma - a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The committee also reinforced the need to protect the livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open.