Bees Sniff Out Nasty Microbes

Scientists in New Zealand hope to use bees as a diagnostic tool to sniff out Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes tuberculosis infection in humans.  Next time you are rooting around in a hive, breathe heavily on your bees.   If they are attracted to your breath, you might be emitting methyl nicotinate, a volatile compound that might suggest the presence of M. tuberculosis.  Your next step should be to remove your bee suit and take public transportation to the nearest sanatorium, coughing bloody sputum all the way, spraying your fellow bus riders with aerosolized TB.

Read the article in The Scientist.

This story kindly brought to our attention by Dr. Byington.


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