Dogs have keen olfactory sensory neurons, receptor proteins great for differentiating smells humans never notice. One reason is basic biology; they breathe and smell separately. Electronic sniffers mimic many of the same processes dogs have - and require far less specialized training.

So which is better? The Reactions team at the American Chemical Society wanted to get the latest.

In an experiment using smokeless powered buried under sand, the dog, Eddie, found it in 22 seconds. Then our human subject got trained on an electronic sniffer and did the same test. It went how you'd expect; it turns out that dogs move around much faster than humans and an electronic sniffer is not as well suited for buried objects.

So dogs still win, but tech is catching up.