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Experts develop harmless bacteria strain that eliminates dogs' bad breath 

A dog's breath can sometimes be worse than its bite and scientists believe to have a cure for this 'howl-itosis.'

A team from the University of Arizona designed a harmless strain of bacteria that eliminates the foul smell for up to two hours.

Traditional methods include toothpastes and chew treats that only cover up the smell with other scents, whereas the harmless bacteria completely eradicates it and can be added treats and food for dogs.

Researchers say the current bacteria is still in the developmental phase, but they are improving the duration efficacy of the product up to eight or 12 hours.

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A dog's breath can sometimes be worse than its bite and scientists believe to have a cure for this 'howl-itosis.' A team from the University of Arizona designed a harmless strain of bacteria that eliminates the foul smell for up to two hours

Co-inventor Eric Lyons, associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences School of Plant Sciences, said: 'The applications of the invention are vast.'

'Our plan is that they will eventually find a home among all sorts of pet treats, food and oral care products.'

Lyons and co-inventor David Baltrus, who is also an associate professor at the University of Arizona, develop the strain by screening hundreds of bacteria found in dog mouths, identifying 20 that were harmless and easy to modify.

The team synthesized DNA constructs, encoding enzymes for producing mint or pear smells, and put those genetic programs into the selected bacteria, choosing the ones that worked best for further development and optimization.

The team synthesized DNA constructs, encoding enzymes for producing mint or pear smells, and put those genetic programs into the selected bacteria, choosing the ones that worked best for further development and optimization that can be consumed by canines 

Lyons said he was inspired to cure the canine halitosis while he and business  development professional Scott Zentack were sitting around a campfire with their dogs.

We figured that with all the knowledge available to scientists, we're now able to modify bacteria in the lab,' Lyons recalled. 

'Why couldn't we make a bacterium that makes dog breath smell better?' 

Now that the team has a a proven treatment, the two-cofounded a startup called uPetsia to commercialize the new technology.

uPetsia is doing product trials and working with industry partners to develop methods to integrate the technology into existing pet foods and snacks. 

The team is considering expanding its technology to include other pets, but dogs and their owners are the first target market.

'We hope that future trials can help transition the product from an additive that only cures bad breath in pet animals into one that can prevent tooth decay and other oral maladies,' Lyons said.

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