A group of Dutch scientists are seeking help from an unusual group of participants for a new type of COVID-19 rapid test: bees are specially trained to detect the virus.
Researchers in emerging insecticide techniques and Wageningen University in the Netherlands announced Press release This week, they trained more than 150 bees in a study to identify the virus-containing samples responsible for COVID-19 based on their odor.
As part of the study, the group said, bees are rewarded with a water-sugar solution whenever they come in contact with an infected specimen, as bees extend their tongues to obtain a solution.
The researchers said that bees, who can train within minutes to detect volatiles and odors due to their sensitivity to sulfur, then mix the reward with positive samples and alone after exposure to the odor of COVID-19 Starts taking out his tongue. .
The scientists noted that the study showed very promising results, with only a small number of false positives and false negatives recorded.
According to the press release, InsectSense has developed a prototype machine capable of training bees to detect viruses, which scientists hope can be adopted in low-income countries where materials for chain reaction tests by polymerase Access is limited.
“Not all laboratories have it, especially in low-income countries,” said Wim van der Bolle, professor at Wageningen University. Washington Post.
He said: “Bees are everywhere and the equipment is not very complicated.”
Although the results of the study have not yet been published in any journal or peer-review journal, van der Boyle told the newspaper that he believed a COVID-19 test for bees using approximately 95 insects per sample using multiple insects Can reach an accuracy of%. .
“Our first goal was to prove that we could train bees to do it, and that’s where we succeeded,” he told the newspaper. “And now we’re doing the calculations, and we’re working to find out how sensitive the method is.”
Bee research comes in the form of others who help in testing, including COVID-19, NASCAR, to recruit dogs It was announced last month The use of specially trained fangs during a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will sniff essential workers.
That same month, a Thai trainer ran a program to help locate the dogs, stating that the animals were capable of doing so. 95 percent accuracy Over a period of six months.