1. Ratting Out TB: Scientists Train Rodents To Diagnose Disease
Rats are notorious for spreading nasty diseases. Think the plague, lassa fever and even salmonella.
But could some jumbo-size African rodents help health workers diagnose diseases more quickly? They just might.
A group in Tanzania is training rats to detect tuberculosis in people. The critters in question are African giant pouched rats. They are about twice the size of your average house gerbil — and half as pretty.
The critters have very poor vision, which they make up for with a keen sense of smell. For the past decade, workers at the nonprofit APOPO have been taking advantage of the rat’s olfactory prowess to detect buried land mines around the world.
Now APOPO is tackling TB, which kills more than 1.4 million people a year.
Continue reading.
See more photos by Jonathan Kalan for NPR. View in High-Res

    Ratting Out TB: Scientists Train Rodents To Diagnose Disease

    Rats are notorious for spreading nasty diseases. Think the plague, lassa fever and even salmonella.

    But could some jumbo-size African rodents help health workers diagnose diseases more quickly? They just might.

    A group in Tanzania is training rats to detect tuberculosis in people. The critters in question are African giant pouched rats. They are about twice the size of your average house gerbil — and half as pretty.

    The critters have very poor vision, which they make up for with a keen sense of smell. For the past decade, workers at the nonprofit APOPO have been taking advantage of the rat’s olfactory prowess to detect buried land mines around the world.

    Now APOPO is tackling TB, which kills more than 1.4 million people a year.

    Continue reading.

    See more photos by Jonathan Kalan for NPR.

  2. global health

    science

    tuberculosis

    tanzania

    NPR global health