Making sense of a dog's olfactory powers

Business Standard - Dogs clearly love to smell. They snarfle their way along the sidewalk. They plant their snouts where you wish they wouldn’t. They snuffle, snort and sneeze, pulling in great gulps of air and sorting out the scents as they go.

We accept that dogs have sharp noses, and we train them to detect bombs, drugs, bodies, fugitives, pests and cancer. But our knowledge of the limits of their abilities is scant.

"There are not many sensors you would deploy in the real world and not know when it's not going to work," said Nathaniel Hall, director of the Canine Olfaction Research and Education Laboratory at Texas Tech University.

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