Laser 'Breathalyzer' To Diagnose Cancer, Diabetes

A laser 'breathalyzer' under development at the University of Colorado at Boulder may be able to provide a non-invasive way to determine if you have cancer or diabetes.

Early detection is very important for both of these diseases, and people are sometimes put off by the tests needed. If a physician could require that you simply blow into a tube, many more people would get early help.


(Detection chamber held by doctoral student Michael Thorpe)

This technology is generally referred to as optical frequency comb spectroscopy; it looks at the more than one thousand substances in our exhaled breath. Some individual molecules could signal disease processes. Excessive methylamine in the breath can signal liver and kidney disease; similarly, excess ammonia may show renal failure and elevated acetone levels could indicate diabetes.

A similar kind of technology was used in the 1997 movie Aliens: Resurrection. In the scene shown in the picture below, Dan Hedaya as General Perez is utilizing the biometric breath ID system to access a secure area. Perez is the commanding officer of the Auriga and supervises the experiments to clone Ripley and study the Aliens.


(Laser 'breathalyzer' biometric ID on Aliens)

Via Scientists Develop Breathalyzer for Disease; thanks to Moira for the tip and sf reference.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/13/2008)

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Index of related articles:

Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS)
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
Behavioral Biometric Characteristic
Biological Biometric Characteristic
Biometrics
Biometric Data
Biometrics Algorithm
Biometric Match
Biometric Match Threshold
Biometric Sample
Biometric System
Capture
Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF)
Challenge Response
Closed-set Identification
Covert Sampling
Feature Extraction
Live Biometric Capture
Liveness Detection
Non-cooperative User
One-to-many
One-to-One
Open-set Identification
Overt Collection
Speaker Recognition
Spoofing
Template
Threshold
True Accept Rate
True Reject Rate
Uncooperative User
Verification

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