The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Smell marker

London, Jan. 21: It brings new meaning to the notion of sniffing out criminals. Scientists have discovered that it is possible to identify people by their unique aroma “fingerprint”.

The researchers, from Bristol University, the University of Vienna in Austria and Indiana University in the US, have developed a way of analysing the traces of scent that every person leaves behind.

They hope the findings will lead to forensic techniques that will be the modern equivalent of using sniffer dogs to track criminals. The technique is already being considered for use with forensic evidence such as DNA and fingerprints. Body odour could also be used in biometric passports.

The US military is already developing devices to exploit scent as a form of identification and the UK’s Forensic Science Service has been examining its potential in criminal investigations.

A European research project to improve airline security has also been looking at the use of an electronic nose to detect dangerous chemicals and explosives that passengers take on to planes.

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