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Sweat as the new fingerprint – the pongy ID card


Dr Michael Gozin of Tel Aviv University believes that everyone may have their own personal  ‘sweat fingerprint’ which can be used as a biometric security system. The idea that we may each perspire our own ID cards is based on the fact that our sweat contains byproducts of our metabolism, including remnants from what we eat, and therefore each trace of perspiration contains unique identifiers which can be analysed by sophisticated machinery.


The good doctor believes that one day we will be able to identify people by analysing the residue of their perspiration left on surfaces like tables, glasses or anywhere the body has been in contact. It’s a fascinating idea, although it’s very early stages as yet. The first task is to try and differentiate between female and male sweat. But surely sir, as we understand it, ladies don’t sweat, they glow?

 Sweat is a complex mixture of proteins and byproducts of our metabolism emitted from our pores. It also contains volatile compounds, only some of which our noses pick up. Dr. Gozin is investigating those compounds with heavy molecular weights, like proteins and peptides, which stick around long after a person and his smell have vanished.

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