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Exhaled breath is unique fingerprint

Posted on Friday, 5 April, 2013 | Comment icon 6 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.0 Colin Mutchler

Compounds within our own exhalations can be used as a unique and non-invasive fingerprinting mechanism.

A new study in to the properties of exhaled breath has indicated that it could be used to help diagnose a variety of conditions in much the same way as urine and blood tests. Providing a sample of breath is extremely quick, non-intrusive and can potentially yield results almost immediately. "I don't understand why breath hasn't been a widely used [means of] medical science diagnosis," said study author Renato Zenobi.

The key lies in identifying the unique metabolic contents of a person's breath, a find which could lead to the diagnosis of everything from a lung infection to stomach cancer. "You need to show there is a core individual signal that is stable over time," said Professor Zenobi. "If it changes a lot during the course of the day or after you've had a coffee or smoked a cigarette, you can just forget about it."

"Compounds present in exhaled breath can act as a "fingerprint" for individuals, scientists say."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by wolfknight on 4 April, 2013, 12:27
Ok you beath in the tube and it tell you what is wrong with you. Does the machine or doctor write the ?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Lady Kasey on 4 April, 2013, 12:49
I think a small hand-held device would be handy in an emergency situation when a patient cannot adequately verbalise his/her medical history. Maybe your breath has a chemical signature for any drugs you're taking for, say, a blood disorder or for high blood pressure, etc.
Comment icon #3 Posted by OverSword on 5 April, 2013, 14:19
in the movie Alien Resurection they use breath as an ID to open security doors.
Comment icon #4 Posted by highdesert50 on 6 April, 2013, 0:09
In light of the newer EKG monitors and their ability provide an expeditious and fairly accurate deion of a heart rhythm; having a portable breath analysis tool would be a huge advantage for paramedics addressing a medical incident.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Render on 6 April, 2013, 10:07
in the movie Alien Resurection they use breath as an ID to open security doors. Also my first thought
Comment icon #6 Posted by CRYSiiSx2 on 15 April, 2013, 5:20
Mine will read, "vodka" every time. I'm safe.

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