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Electronic nose for skin vapors

"The variety of vapors emitted from the human skin layer is largely determined by fatty acids. Despite the fact that these substances are not highly volatile, we still managed to develop an "electronic nose" capable of detecting them," says the lead researcher from Yale University

This is what an electronic nose looks like in a lab. Photo: Yale University
This is what an electronic nose looks like in a lab. Photo: Yale University

A joint team of researchers from Yale University in the USA and a Spanish company developed a system to detect the vapors emitted from the human skin layer in real time. The scientists believe that these substances, which are emitted from the pores of the skin and contain mainly fatty acids, are the ones that attract mosquitoes to us and allow dogs to recognize their human owners.

"The variety of vapors emitted from the human skin layer is largely determined by fatty acids. Despite the fact that these substances are not extremely volatile, we still managed to develop an "electronic nose" capable of detecting them," explains researcher Juan Fernández de la Mora from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Yale University and one of the authors of the article published in the scientific journal Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

The system, which was jointly developed with a Spanish company, works by ionizing the vapors using the electrospray method (electrospray, a spray of electrically charged "drops"), followed by detections using mass spectroscopy. This method can be used to identify many of the vapor compounds emitted by the human hand, as an example.

"The great innovation of this research lies in the fact that despite the almost complete non-volatility of fatty acids, which contain chains of up to eighteen carbon atoms, the developed electronic nose is so sensitive that it is able to detect them immediately," notes the lead researcher. The findings indicate that the compounds emitted from the skin layer are mostly fatty acids, although there are also other substances such as lactic acid and pyruvic acid.

The researchers emphasize that the enormous chemical abundance of fatty acids, which contains hundreds of different types, "is well known, and may prove the hypothesis that these are the key substances that allow dogs to recognize their human owners." The wide range of the vapors emitted from the human skin layer and the oral cavity not only allow dogs to recognize their owners, but also help mosquitoes locate their victims - according to several publications.

Besides locating people based on their skin vapor, one of the other important applications of the innovative system is its ability to detect tiny amounts of explosives. The system is able to "smell" levels that are below one part per trillion (PPT, Parts Per Trillion), and it also managed to achieve the world record in TNT's sensitivity threshold."

The pioneer of the ionization method using electrospray mass spectroscopy is Professor John B. Fenn, who currently works as a researcher at the University of Virginia, and who in 2002 won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for using this method to study proteins.

The news about the study

5 תגובות

  1. Agnus:
    And by the way - specific to the topic of the heinous massacre of the night - here too it does not take much imagination to understand that the motivation for the matter - even if the act was not carried out by a religious person - is religious.
    What other reason does a human have to murder people because of their sexual orientation.
    This of course reminds me of the life story of Alan Turing - one of the greatest mathematicians of the XNUMXth century - a man to whom the Allies largely owe their victory in World War II (due to his leadership in cracking the Enigma codes) - who found himself dealing after the war with the religious legacy left in society the British when it was discovered that he was homosexual - something that eventually led to his suicide.
    And more briefly - this is about a man who by the power of his mind saved most of the world who later killed him by the power of ignorance. 

  2. Agnus:
    There are things that are so clear that the person who writes them does not see the need to substantiate them. It included a long time even this site. I hope that in recent times most of them have already learned that in these attempts - when they come to curse (science) - like Balaam's donkey - when the supporters of science are used in the role of God - they come out blessed.
    By the way - the hatred of science is almost a necessary outgrowth of religion - not only because of the contradictory claims that science has provided to religion's nonsense about reality, but mainly because of religion's demand to believe while paralyzing critical thought and science's demand for the exact opposite.
    The submission of society to the whims of the ultra-Orthodox is also one of the most famous.
    I really feel ridiculous to provide an example to prove the matter, but since it turns out that there are those who are self-evidently apostates, I will currently provide an example of an article written by Ben Dror Yamini on the subject:
    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/923/939.html

  3. Yehuda,
    The essence of science is examining the data in the field and drawing conclusions from them. It is hard to understand how both the accusation of a group of people without any basis (at least at the moment), and crying over the hatred of science can appear in one message.

  4. This is the result of decades of surrendering to every ultra-Orthodox whim because of the desire of politicians to keep their throne. Since they wanted to keep the throne, they did not notice that the state escaped from under the feet of the throne.
    The hatred of science is also precisely the result of the same anti-liberalism. Remember how Bibi mocked the elites in his first term?

  5. I read the article at the beginning because I thought that this system would be useful for soft tissue like the artificial nose for detecting cancer and at the end I read that one of the applications is for detecting explosives. Everyone kills everyone

    There is no salvation for humans... So much hate and violence. And now the matter with this horrific murder of the children at the support club of the Gay and Lesbian Association in Tel Aviv. I am really ashamed to be Israeli. I want to vomit from all the violence and fanatical hatred. All the anti-liberalism. He is secular... because he is Jewish... because he is not like you. Sickening

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