Area of Study
Science and Mathematics
The proboscis extension reflex conditioning assay was employed to condition bees to discriminate between urine samples. Each trial tested the bee’s ability to discriminate between male and female mouse urine. Seventeen bees were tested using pooled mouse urine while the other 17 were tested using single urine samples. Bees tested on single samples discriminated the positive odor 41% of the time on average for the 4th and 5th trial, while bees tested using pooled samples discriminated the positive odor 62.5% of the time on average for the 4th and 5th trial. During the probe trials, neither the pooled urine sample tested bees nor the single sample urine tested bees discriminated between the novel positive odors. The fact that bees cannot discriminate between novel odors suggests that clinical testing to discriminate disease is unlikely.
Van Buren, Preston, "Beesearch: smellin’ urine and discriminatin’sex" (2011). Summer Research. 106.
University of Puget Sound