This week, we are revisiting our favorite topic of detection canines being used in interesting ways to assist law enforcement -- In last week’s article, we discussed a new effort to train dogs to detect COVID 19 in order to provide a much quicker screening process. Now, we turn our attention to an article discussing how specialized canines can assist with soil analysis!
Jacqui Aitkenhead-Peterson, an associate professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, also works with the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program in the Department of Entomology. Her work with Texas law enforcement deals with detecting carbon and nutrients released from decomposing mammals. Dr. Peterson employed the help of trained detection canines when working a case earlier this year. According to Peterson, “dogs have a significantly higher sensitivity than the equipment in my lab. Sometimes the volume of soils delivered is high, and so it is useful to have trained HRD (human remains detection) dogs to alert for human remains before the time-consuming chemical analyses is performed.” The remarkable abilities of these types of trained pups never cease to amaze us!
A commonality between this post and last week’s post is the possibility of augmenting time-consuming tests with a much faster canine-based screening. Whereas last week doctors were concerned with screening enough patients to stop the spread of COVID 19, this week, Dr. Peterson relies on canine capabilities to sift through large soil samples. The fact that this rapid screening ability which trained canines bring to the table can be used in such diverse fields is truly fantastic!
Thank you for reading, and please join us next week for more discussions of canine detection news!