Pet owners have always talked about how their dogs can detect what they are feeling. Pets, especially dogs, have been instrumental in helping reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Now we have scientific evidence showing dogs can smell when someone is stressed.
Clara Wilson, a psychologist at Queen’s University in Northern Ireland, said that when humans are stressed, as a psychological response to our bodies, the smell of our breath and sweat changes, and dogs can detect this change very well. Earlier, researchers found that there is a possibility that dogs can identify when humans are happy or fearful through smell. This made researchers curious about what else dogs can detect through smell. Results show they can differentiate, but whether that affects them in any way is still not determined.
In an experiment to see if the most loyal pets of humans can detect when their owners are stressed or not, scientists recruited four dogs: Fingal, Treo, Winnie, and Soot. A total of thirty-six humans were part of this experiment. Sweat and breath samples were taken from the human volunteers under two different scenarios. One was under a baseline controlled situation and the other was a stressful one where they were required to solve mathematical problems. Later, the dogs were exposed to three samples: one without any odor, the second sample was based on situation one, and the third sample had the odor of a stressed human. With approximately 93% accuracy, all four dogs could differentiate and sniff out the stressed odor sample.
The reason why dogs have super sniffing powers is that canines have around 220 million olfactory receptors, whereas humans only have 50 million. Mark Freeman, a veterinarian and small animal clinical scientist at Virginia Tech, says there is no scientific reason why dogs have such effective olfactory senses, but the need to identify potential threats, prey, and familial relationships could be a logical explanation behind it.
Do you remember your childhood when your friends and you might open the motors of some old toy cars and attempt to be engineers? Well, you might have done it for fun but Robert Sansone is doing it to change the world.
The Engineering Prodigy
17-year-old teenager Robert Sansone loves to tinker with new inventions in his leisure time, and has completed a minimum of 60 engineering projects. This teenager has created super-fast running boots, a go-kart that has a speed of 70 miles/hour +, an animatronic hand, and much more.
The Initial Years
A few years back, Sansone came across the fact that the motors that the industry uses are created with magnets that need some rare and expensive element, he got curious. He decided to come up with a motor that doesn’t use raw materials that can cost hundreds of dollars for one kg, he started brainstorming. For years, Sansone experimented and researched, and then he learned about synchronous reluctance motors. You can find them in your ceiling fans and water pumps, but they don’t generate enough energy to run an electric car. He chose these motors because they don’t require magnets to create rotational energy to spin a rotor.
The Journey Continued
The high schooler invented many prototypes of the motor to increase its rotational force. He even won his very first award at the largest international high school STEM competition, Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), with a prize of $75,000 for his 3D printed prototype made with copper wires, plastic, and steel rotor.
Sansone knew that to generate more rotational force or torque, he needed a greater saliency ratio (difference between materials and magnetism) and that could be done by using air gaps. However, he decided to walk down a different path. Sansone incorporated an additional magnetic field inside the motor to hike up the ratio. After 14 failed prototypes of this design, he finally accomplished what he wished for. He got a running prototype when he gave this idea a 15th trial.
The Out Blast
Sansone’s prototype proved that increasing the torque can actually end up in a higher saliency ratio. Although he did have other details to his design, he hasn’t disclosed them as he wishes to patent his design in the future. This new motor can actually be used in electric cars once experiments are done on bigger levels and it might change the industry forever.