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."
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Source: BBC News
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