Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 19.07.2023 Interview with: Prof. Tommy Dickey Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Emeritus Geography Department University of California Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA What is the background for this study? Response:  I became interested in dog's sense of smell several years ago while doing therapy dog demonstrations at the California Science Center in Los Angeles during a special traveling exhibit "Dogs! A Science Tail." (Now at the Orlando Science Center).  I did a lot of research on this topic and taught children about it through the Los Angeles Public Library using my Great Pyrenees therapy dogs. Then, COVID broke out and I expanded my research into any work being done to possibly utilize scent dogs for screening and testing for COVID.  I found only a few such studies.  However, I fortuitously met Heather Junqueira of BioScent, Inc. (in Florida) online and she was beginning to successfully teach her beagles to detect COVID-related odors.  She agreed to co-author a peer-reviewed review paper with me.  That led to our first paper - Dickey, T, Junqueira, H. Toward the use of medical scent dogs for COVID-19 screening. J Osteopath Med 2021;1(2): 141-148. When the COVID pandemic began to wane at the beginning of this year, I felt that it would be the perfect time to do this comprehensive follow-up review to see how far COVID scent dog research had progressed. To our amazement, research efforts had increased by almost tenfold and involved over 400 scientists using over 31,000 samples (including sniffings) from over 30 countries and that 29 peer reviewed papers had been published. Heather’s inspiration for doing scent dog work came when her father contracted cancer and she wanted to find better diagnostics.  She has since been successful in detecting non-small cell lung cancer with her trained beagles as well as COVID. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Technology / 03.02.2022 Interview with: Michael J. Mahan Ph.D Professor Dept of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9625  What is the background for this study?  Response: A critical need exists in resource-poor settings for low-cost, low-tech, yet highly reliable and scalable testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus that is robust against circulating variants.  (more…)