The scent of someone’s hand can give away their sex and could help bring criminals to justice, according to new research.
Scientists were able to predict a person’s sex just from the smell of their hand with over 96 percent accuracy
In criminal investigations, dogs have long been used to reliably identify and track people based on their odor.
But while human scent evidence from the field is well established, researchers have made little progress in analyzing human scent profiles in the lab.
In the new study, researchers used an analysis technique called mass spectrometry to study the smell of 60 people’s palms.
Of the participants, half were men and half were women.
After identifying the compounds in each sample, the team worked to see if they could determine the individual’s sex based on their profile of scents.
In doing this, they successfully were able to predict a person’s sex with over a 96 percent accuracy rate.
Previous research has also shown that the smell of a hand can be used to find out a person’s age and racial or ethnic group.
By combining these techniques, robberies, assaults and rape cases could be easier to solve as these crimes are often executed with a perpetrator’s hands.
Dr. Kenneth Furton, executive director of the Global Forensic and Justice Center and the chief scientific officer of Florida International University, said: “This approach to analyzing hand odor volatiles can be applied when other discriminatory evidence such as DNA is lacking and allow for differentiation or class characterization such as sex, race and age.”
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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