Ants do not have noses, but this does not prevent them from smelling cancer. Thanks to the abundance of olfactory receptors on their antennae, the insects have an incredible sense of smell and can use it to detect tumours.
Research from the French department of Oise near Senlis has revealed how the silky ant, common in the northern hemisphere, is able to detect cancer cells in the laboratory.
The study leads to some rather clear conclusions. The ants in the trained colonies spent 20 per cent more time near the tumour smell. An article published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences accounts for the study results.