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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Your Fingertips are your Worst Enemy

via Gizmodo
Smokers now have a reason to be paranoid. Using new fingerprint technology developed by researchers at Intelligent Fingerprinting, your fingertips can be tested for metabolites. In only minutes results more accurate than a breathalyzer could be obtained.

Paul Yates and his team at Intelligent Fingerprinting are behind the breakthrough. Their findings show that the byproducts of chemicals processed by the body are secreted in your sweat and build up on your fingertips. They figured out a pretty ingenious way to detect these byproducts or metabolites.

"The device applies gold nanoparticles coated with antibodies to a fingerprint. The antibodies stick to antigens on specific metabolites in the fingerprint. Fluorescent dyes attached to the antibodies will highlight the presence of any metabolites. The technique was first used to detect nicotine, but now works on a range of drugs, including cocaine, methadone and cannabis."

If adapted for mobile use this could be a much more accurate and less invasive way to test impaired drivers. Just start carrying super-glue in the car to apply to your fingertips in an emergency! Or better yet, don't drive impaired.

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