See tomorrow’s perspective a day early—from the insight of a futurist. Curated by Pamela McConathy Schied, MS, Futures Studies in Commerce, College of Technology, University of Houston; Principal, Foresight Communications Group,

On the Horizon

Scientists give new meaning to the term “bad breath”

An international team of 63 scientists have identified unique “breathprints” for 17 diseases with 86 percent accuracy, and have developed a miniature breathalyzer that noninvasively detects, classifies and diagnoses these diseases, including numerous types of cancer, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, chronic kidney disease and others.

As far back as 400 B.C., physicians have known that the human breath, which contains nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and other volatile compounds, can indicate the presence of disease. Only recently have they been able to pinpoint which diseases are present using an array of nanoscale sensors to detect and identify specific components in a patient’s breath components.

The team also found that the presence of one disease evidenced by its unique breathprint, would not prevent the detection of others — a prerequisite for developing a practical device to screen and diagnose various diseases.


We must love research. We've been at it for more than 37 years.


Tomorrow's insights a day early. Read more.



Stay on top of the latest techniques and cutting-edge ideas in Qualitative Research by subscribing to QRCA VIEWS magazine.