Smell may be the key to a future of more accurate, cheaper, non-invasive diagnostics tests for everything from malaria to cancer to Parkinson’s disease.
Scientists in Israel are working on a breath test that they say can detect as many as 17 diseases. Meanwhile, a US-based team is testing their device for identifying the breath signature of malaria in Malawi in Africa.
The two developing technologies both use comparisons of chemical compounds found in healthy breath to the compounds found in the breath of someone with a disease.
Though neither version is ready for clinical use, the scientists beyond each hope that smell-testing can soon make diagnostics a painless and far cheaper process for patients.