Earwax may reveal clues about a person’s identity and habits - New York News

Earwax may reveal clues about a person’s identity and habits

Posted: Updated:
  • Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Soccer fans wear rival player's mug shot on T-shirt

    Soccer fans wear rival player's mug shot on T-shirt

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:39 AM EDT2014-09-12 14:39:44 GMT
    Relatives of an Indiana high school student whose mug shot appeared on T-shirts at a soccer game between rival schools reportedly claim spirited fans went a bit too far.
    Relatives of an Indiana high school student whose mug shot appeared on T-shirts at a soccer game between rival schools reportedly claim spirited fans went a bit too far.
  • Prisoners kept handcuffed in park

    Prisoners kept handcuffed in park

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:01 AM EDT2014-09-12 12:01:28 GMT
    It was a day in the park for about 40 prisoners - handcuffed to each other, a fence and even a children's slide.  Authorities have been holding some crime suspects in a public park in western Bogota's La Granja neighborhood because they say there is no more room at a local detention center.
    It was a day in the park for about 40 prisoners - handcuffed to each other, a fence and even a children's slide.  Authorities have been holding some crime suspects in a public park in western Bogota's La Granja neighborhood because they say there is no more room at a local detention center.
By FOX NEWS -

It turns out clues about a person’s identity and ethnicity can come from a surprising source: earwax.

Researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia decided to analyze earwax as a possible source of personal information based on previous studies in which researchers analyzed underarm odor to unlock clues about a person’s identity.

"Our previous research has shown that underarm odors can convey a great deal of information about an individual, including personal identity, gender, sexual orientation and health status," study author George Preti, an organic chemist at Monell, said in a press release. "We think it possible that earwax may contain similar information."

For their study, Preti and his colleagues identified odor-producing compounds contained in earwax obtained from 16 healthy men. Eight of the men were Caucasian while the remainder of the men were of East Asian descent.

Researchers then heated the earwax samples to prompt them to produce odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Though all of the men’s earwax samples tested positive for VOCs, Caucasian men had greater amounts of 11 out of the 12 VOCs tested compared to the men of East Asian origin.

"In essence, we could obtain information about a person's ethnicity simply by looking in his ears,” study author Katharine Prokop-Prigge, a Monell chemist, said. “While the types of odorants were similar, the amounts were very different.”

Furthermore, they suspect earwax may be a source of even more clues about a person’s identity and habits.

The researchers suspect that the fatty nature of earwax makes it a likely repository for lipid-soluble odorants produced by certain diseases and the environment.

Monell chemist Katharine Prokop-Prigge points out that at least two odor-producing metabolic diseases (maple syrup urine disease and alkaptonuria) can be identified in earwax before they can be diagnosed using traditional techniques such as blood and urine analysis.

“Odors in earwax may be able to tell us what a person has eaten and where they have been,” said Preti. “Earwax is a neglected body secretion whose potential as an information source has yet to be explored.”

Future studies will examine these possibilities.

Read More
  • HealthMore>>

  • Diabetes May Slow the Middle-Aged Brain

    Diabetes May Slow the Middle-Aged Brain

    Diabetes May Slow the Middle-Aged Brain Type 2 diabetes in those ages 50 to 65 may increase the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment (dailyRx News) As people age, their brains may not work at full speed. For...
    Diabetes May Slow the Middle-Aged Brain Type 2 diabetes in those ages 50 to 65 may increase the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment (dailyRx News) As people age, their brains may not work at full...
  • Overall US Dietary Quality Remained Low

    Overall US Dietary Quality Remained Low

    Overall US Dietary Quality Remained Low Higher socioeconomic status associated with a healthier diet (dailyRx News) Since 2000, US officials have made several policy changes in nutrition and proper food processing....
    Overall US Dietary Quality Remained Low Higher socioeconomic status associated with a healthier diet (dailyRx News) Since 2000, US officials have made several policy changes in nutrition and proper food...
  • Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:28:27 GMT
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:28:27 GMT
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
  • Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:15:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
  • Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:39:39 GMT
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a Bridgeport train crash last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a train crash in Connecticut last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices