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[The following excerpt was taken from an article -- Sniffing Out Sickness-- by Aaron Rowe on page 58 of the June, 2011, issue of Wired magazine.]:

 

You may have an illness and not even know it -- and the proof could be on your breath.  That’s because our bodies give off complex aromas, some too faint for the human nose.  And when sickness alters cell metabolism, an array of telltale volatile chemicals make their way into our breath, urine, and sweat.  Now, research labs around the world are figuring out how to use gas sensors to detect disease.  Here are a few aliments they’ve gotten a whiff of so far:

 

LUNG CANCER  -  BREATH ODOR:  Ammonia, fish  -  SOURCE:  Methyl hydrazine

 

PRECLAMPSIA  -  BREATH ODOR:  Lighter fluid  -  SOURCE:  Undecane [and others]

 

KETOACIDISIS  -  BREATH ODOR:  Rotten apples, nail polish remover  -  SOURCE:  Acetone

 

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS  -  URINE ODOR:  Cheese, locker rooms, feet  -  SOURCE:  Isovaleric acid

 

SCHIZOPHRENIA  -  BREATH ODOR:  Ether  -  SOURCE:  Carbon Disulphide

 

MELANOMA  -  BREATH ODOR:  Gasoline  -  SOURCE:  Nonane, phthalate, butanal, dimethylsulfone, indole

 


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