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Medical Research

Tuberculosis - Greater Hamster Rats Help Track down Pathogens

Gilbert is a rodent with a very special ability. He's been trained to sniff out TB in patient sputum samples.

Because the disease can be difficult to identify under the microscope, doctors in Tanzania are now employing Gilbert and other greater hamster rats to help out. German researchers have broken down the make-up of the scent that the animals are able to smell - a bouquet of odors from five to six different TB-specific molecules.

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