Exhaled breath is like a fingerprint, according to scientists

Exhaled breath might soon become an efficient diagnosis toolImage credits: Cure Halitosis

Exhaled breath might soon become an efficient diagnosis tool
Image credits: Cure Halitosis

The scientific journal PLOS ONE has recently witnessed the publication of a new study stating that a person’s exhaled breath is fairly similar to their fingerprints, in the sense that it is not found in any other individual.

Because of this, researchers are confident that it will not be long until they will be able to analyze the make-up of one’s exhaled breath and use the information collected in this manner to pin down various conditions.

As most people know, blood and urine tests are, for the time being at least, the most common method of gathering data concerning an individual’s overall wellbeing.

However, one has to admit that one simple breath test is significantly less intrusive than the procedures aforementioned. Not to mention the fact that, as scientists explain, it would also be less time consuming.

Many “peaks” present in the breath analyses have not yet been identified – and could be diagnostic of disease

say that, should things continue to unfold in this manner, the analysis of a person’s exhaled breath might allow scientists to detect medical conditions such as cancer.

Furthermore, such tests could serve to keep athletes from doping during various sporting competitions, and could even help doctors determine just how much anesthetic a person who is about to undergo surgery needs.

The same source informs us that a given individual’s so-called breath print is made up of both volatile and semi-volatile metabolites, and has a core pattern that is unique to that person.

“We did find some small variations during the day, but overall the individual pattern stays sufficiently constant to be useful for medical purposes,” scientist Pablo Martinez-Lozano Sinues says.

For the time being, the researchers are focusing on developing methods that will allow them to pin down the chemical make-up of one’s exhaled breath with more accuracy.

“Our goal is to develop breath analysis to the point where it becomes competitive with the established analysis of blood and urine,” specialist Malcolm Kohler explains.

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