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May 14, 2018

You can learn a lot about health — and crime — through sweat

Most of the time, people want to sweat less. But the very liquid that we try so hard to avoid producing is a goldmine of data — and researchers want to harness it to do everything from combat stress to keep our phones more secure.

Sweat contains a mix of chemicals that not only tell us a lot about our current state, but is extremely distinctive to each of us. In other words, it can be a real giveaway, and there’s almost no chance of chance of any two people having the same sweat profile. In a paper recently published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, University at Albany forensic chemist Jan Halámek and his team analyzed 25 real samples of sweat taken from volunteers, and 50 fake sweat samples (which are basically artificial mixtures...

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