How pigeons may help detect breast cancer

PIGEONS can be trained to distinguish between benign and malignant human breast histopathology and radiology images, researchers say.

It’s not as silly as it sounds.

Scientists say pigeons share many visual system properties with humans, so experiments with the birds may shed light on what is perceived when humans are asked to examine medical images.

They could even be useful in developing and testing new medical imaging hardware, they say.

Eight common pigeons (Columba livia), encouraged by food rewards, were taught to view and identify changes in breast tissue in a set of digitised slides.