Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pigeons trained to detect cancer

A paper just came out in PLOS ONE that showed that pigeons can be trained to look at histological slides and diagnose cancerous cells. Amazing stuff. 

The authors, however, make a crucial mistake by saying that they have vision like ours. They don't. Birds' eyes are superior in many ways including spatial resolution, color resolution (they have UV and see more gradations than we do), and a higher flicker rate. 

Knowing this perhaps they could incorporate higher res images that include UV and they could increase single bird efficiency.  Though, even with standard images, a flock of pigeons are 99% accurate! Amazing. 

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