Could bottlenose dolphin breath analysis help with conservation efforts?
Stephanie Sutton |
We’ve covered human breath analysis before (1, 2) – and it’s not as straightforward as it appears. Now, taking the challenge a step further, scientists based in California and Florida have developed an instrument that analyzes the metabolites in dolphin breath to determine health (3). The work is especially relevant after an unusually large number of dolphin deaths along the Atlantic coast of the US in 2013. Health assessments of dolphin populations could go a long way towards aiding conservation efforts by giving an early indication of serious problems, such as infectious diseases or contamination. According to the research team, breath analysis and comprehensive metabolite profiling have not been attempted in cetaceans before.
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