The high cost of slow adoption

A scholarly paper published in September 2021 in PLOS ONE titled “Highly Sensitive Scent-Detection of COVID-19 Patients In Vivo by Trained Dogs” (Omar Vesga et al) starts with this sentence: “Timely and accurate diagnostics are essential to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but no test satisfies both conditions. … The only effective measure to ameliorate the…

Best. Job. Ever.

Walking with our dog Ellie is a lesson in negotiation. On trails, we pass by other dogs who walk heads up, alert to their human companions and other animals around them. Our Ellie walks nose-first, scenting out whatever is on the ground or beneath it. If we moved at her pace, it would be less…

The Tragedy of Delay

Yet another fatal impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been due to cancers going undetected as people dropped their annual health maintenance screenings. Waiting until symptoms manifest has deadly consequences. Despite that, when daily life poses existential threats from a virus that has taken millions of lives, thinking about a trip to a hospital or…

Treat Time – Cranberries, La Tarte Tatin & the Smells of Autumn

Fall is my favorite season, when autumn winds blow away the sticky heat of summer, and hardwood trees show off the rich, abundant colors they’ve been hiding. It’s a season with scents that rival the showier floral springtime. Smells of apples, cinnamon, pumpkin, damp wood – these are the aromas I anticipate as the days…

Problems to solve

For humans, smell is the third of our five senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing). Smell alerts us to danger, such as smoke, gas leaks or even mold. It enhances our ability to taste and to experience the beauty of the natural world. Although subconsciously we can detect the subtle presence of molecules like pheromones,…

Treat Time – Ellie’s Biscuits

I enjoy baking. Even more, I love sharing recipes and whatever I bake. Just like Ellie needs a treat now and then to replenish the energy she expends smelling literally everything, I think it’s time for a treat. Ellie adores the small dog biscuits I make for her. Redolent of the cinnamon, pumpkin, and peanut…

First steps

I started my journey on a walk with our dog Ellie, while listening to a podcast. The podcast was Revisionist History, and the episode was “The Dog Will See You Now”. In it, Malcolm Gladwell explores the use of dogs to detect the presence of cancer and Covid-19 in humans. He imagines a world in…