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Pigeons Identify Cancerous Tissues On Medical Images, Study Says

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Researchers have given pigeons a new message to deliver - yes or no - is human tissue healthy or cancerous? A new study finds pigeons can be trained to spot cancerous breast tissue on X-rays and slides and choose which it is by pecking colored buttons. Researchers at UC Davis Medical Center say a single bird is good, but gathering results from lots of pigeons, flock-sourcing, brings the accuracy up to 90 percent. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.