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Identifying People By Odor As Effective As Fingerprinting 157

Posted by samzenpus
from the can-you-smell-me-now dept.
A study has found that everybody has a unique body odor, like their fingerprints, that could be used as an unique identifier. The study showed that a persons unique odor stayed the same even if they varied their diet with strong smelling foods such as garlic and spices. "These findings indicate that biologically-based odorprints, like fingerprints, could be a reliable way to identify individuals," said Monell chemist Jae Kwak. I would have thought that hundreds of years of dogs tracking people would have proved this, but it's nice to know that science has figured it out officially now.

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Identifying People By Odor As Effective As Fingerprinting

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  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:16AM (#25730543)

    Why is this even Idle? This is actually somewhat interesting.... I hate Idle, Btw.
    -Taylor

    • by Xenographic (557057) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:20AM (#25730569) Homepage Journal

      It's on Idle because this idea was invented by Shampoo.

      • Shampoo is pa-... Wait, you almost had me there. Nice try.
      • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

        What would Shampoo do?

      • Re:Obviously... (Score:4, Informative)

        by theaveng (1243528) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @06:03AM (#25731719)

        I agree.

        TRIVIA - Smelling people can also reveal your mate. A quick whiff allows the body to detect a person's genetic makeup, and we feel attracted to those with genes opposite to ours.

        The use of deodorants and birth control pills can disrupt this natural process (your mate's smell is masked or changed).

        • by rav0 (983195)
          Except she won't get near enough to pick up your scent if your BO drives her away first.
        • yes, scent seems to be the primary way of determining a person's major histocompatibility complex (MHC).

          if a potential mate has a highly complementary (dissimilar to one's own) MHC then your offspring will inherent a more robust immune system. if a couple shares very similar/homogeneous MHC genes then their offspring will inherit a less diverse set of natural immunities, and thus will be more susceptible to disease & illness.

          however, birth control pills do not interfere with this sexual selection proces

      • by Whiteox (919863)

        It's on Idle because this idea was invented by Shampoo.
        Stasi - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi [wikipedia.org]
        East-German Secret Police

        "During an interview the seats were covered with a cotton sheet, to collect the perspiration of the victim. His name was written in a glass and the sheet was kept in the archives. Other common ways that the scents would be collected is through breaking into a home and taking parts of garments. The most common garment taken was underpants, because of how close the garment is to the skin".

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Rycross (836649)

          Wait, so the underpants gnomes are Nazis? I guess we figured out what the missing part of:

          1. Steal underpants
          2. ???
          3. Profit!

          was.

          • by Whiteox (919863)

            I saw a program on it. Samples were kept in a glass jar with a screw top. Many are still around.
            Each sample is maybe 25cm2, so someone would had to have sniffed the undies to find the 'sweet spot' :) , then cut the piece out and store it, labeled and all.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Aphoxema (1088507) *

      I was about to say something like that. This does have quite a bit of relevance to forensic examination, biometrics, chilling effects, avenues for technology, it's practically a topic for Slashdot paradise. I'm sure Microsoft will find a way to, dare I say it... stick their noses in it?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Dan541 (1032000) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @02:56AM (#25731001) Homepage

      My dog already knew and understood this, that does not speak well for science.

    • I hate Idle, Btw.

      Yet you continue to read it... interesting...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sqldr (838964)
      I hate Idle, Btw.

      Try running this then:

      #!/bin/sh

      while true; do
      fork
      done
  • Oh... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Facegarden (967477)

    And one more thing... Trying to make Idle legitimate by putting real articles on it too is lame. Put real articles where they belong, banish idle to hell.
    -Taylor

    • Re:Oh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Skrapion (955066) <skorpion@firefang . c om> on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:32AM (#25730619) Homepage

      You people. First you complain that Idle isn't any good, and now you're complaining that it shouldn't be any good?

      • Well, if idle has good articles what's the difference between Idle and not-Idle...?

        Additionally, if Idle isn't any good, then most people think it's a waste. No contradiction here.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Well, if idle has good articles what's the difference between Idle and not-Idle...?

          Possibly the fact that replying "I'm surprised at this result because when I eat chocolate or drink coffee my urine smells heavily of cacao beans" is a legitimate non-trollish response to this Idle post, whereas it would not be received the same way in most other stories.

          More straightforward, though, I think the anti-Idle sect is based largely on misguided dogma rather than the value of Idle or their anti-Idle viewpoint. "Idl

          • by fbjon (692006)

            j"ust adds to my feelings that many /. users are simply stuck in very narrow views of what slashdot is supposed to be about"

            I find it interesting that most of the users who complain about idle never have low uids. Not that a high uid necessarily implies a new user, but still. Most importantly, as registered users they can turn idle off completely, so WTF is all I'm saying.

            • 1) this isn't my first slashdot account, and I've been reading slashdot much longer than I've ever had an account.
              2) The vast majority of people on slashdot have high userids for rather obvious reasons!
              3) You're dick-waving about user ids? That's pretty lame.

              WTF is all I"m saying.

              • by fbjon (692006)
                I'm not dick-waving, I have none to wave with in terms of user id. I'm just saying negative comments tend to come from uids higher than mine, and positive from uids lower than mine. This is my observation.
        • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

          Well, if idle has good articles what's the difference between Idle and not-Idle...?

          An overabundance of free time and an inability to occupy it with anything meaningful.

      • Re:Oh... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Facegarden (967477) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @02:27AM (#25730869)

        You people. First you complain that Idle isn't any good, and now you're complaining that it shouldn't be any good?

        No, I'm complaining that there is already a section for this article, it's called "Science", and that i feel people are artificially putting this in the wrong category to make it seem more legitimate.

        The idea behind the idle section is to have articles that are sort of pointless - that's just the point, i'm not ragging on it. Thing is, i don't like that idea, i think it's stupid.
        -Taylor

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Skrapion (955066)

          They've also been using the section for "oddball" stories, of which this clearly fits.

          In fact, with the exception of a few YouTube videos that showed up early in the life of Idle, most of the stuff posted in Idle that's made it to the front page is stuff that would have been posted on Slashdot anyway, but under a different category.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            How is this oddball at all? It's horribly obvious and has a scientific basis. That's not oddball, it's Science, and as others have pointed out, there is already such a section. Thinking that this is an "oddball" discovery is about the same as thinking that knowing that the earth is not flat is an "oddball" discovery, and only labels you as a provincial putz. Is it "weird" because it has to do with body odor, with which Americans are inordinately uncomfortable?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RulerOf (975607)
          While this article may be misplaced, I'd say that while regular /. stories are "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters," Idle /. could be considered "News for Nerds, Stuff that Doesn't Matter," but that you still might find interesting.
      • by Isotopian (942850)
        Hup! What do you mean, you people?!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:18AM (#25730553)
    i need to know
    • by wickerprints (1094741) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @03:42AM (#25731211)
      It's from a National Geographic article from like 15 years ago, about the science of smell. The notable thing about this photo is that all the "smellers" are female--this is because in general, women tend to be more sensitive to smell, and besides, men probably don't want other men smelling their pits.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by macraig (621737)

        Armpit odor isn't actually generated by the human body itself: it's caused by bacteria feeding on "exudates". That's also true of bad breath. One of the most effective deodorants you can find is a triple antibiotic.

        If that's true of the entire body in general, then simply eliminating - or substituting - the bacteria and other freeloaders might very well change this odor signature.

        • by Reziac (43301) *

          Toothpaste and alcohol also work well, for the same reason.

          Some people (myself included) tend to have very little body odor, even when unwashed. Probably a matter of how "natural" one's surface flora are. Too much soap and chemicals can disrupt that natural flora.

      • by fizzup (788545)

        I don't think you're right. I think this is from a Consumer Reports test of underarm deodorant. I think you're right that the article was from about 15 years ago, though.

      • An interesting test involved women who are given t-shirts worn by men, who don't use deoderant for about 2 hours. The women were asked to rate each smell whether they liked it or not. When scientists looked at the genetic haplotypes of the women and the men whose smell they preferred, they tended to pick men who were very different genetically from them.

  • farts (Score:3, Funny)

    by u4ya (1248548) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:20AM (#25730565) Homepage
    each persons' fart has its own unique flavor too. although I don't envy the poor bastard who has to test this theory.
    • by xtracto (837672)

      don't envy the poor bastard who has to test this theory.
      Somehow... relating the idle picture with your comment made my mind eyes cry... blood tears. ...you insensitive clod!

  • first post (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I welcome our new armpit sniffing overlords!
  • by TheSovereign (1317091) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:24AM (#25730587)
    the idea that fingerprints are unique is stupid, especially for anyone who is actually in law enforcement or forensics. you need 12 count it TWELVE different points of matching to even get a fingerprint submitted for evidence. so if this odor is just as effective that means its pretty much a scare tactic as much as "we got your fingerprints at the scene!" is
    • by Y.A.A.P. (1252040) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @02:39AM (#25730919)

      the idea that fingerprints are unique is stupid, especially for anyone who is actually in law enforcement or forensics. you need 12 count it TWELVE different points of matching to even get a fingerprint submitted for evidence. so if this odor is just as effective that means its pretty much a scare tactic as much as "we got your fingerprints at the scene!" is

      I wouldn't call it stupid, just incorrect when all possibilities are tried.

      Aside from genetically-identical twins, there are a rare few known cases where people do have matching fingerprints (it's been awhile since I read the article but I seem to recall a resolution of around a thousand comparison points in one such case). However, with the incredibly low occurrence rate for this duplication, fingerprints still reign as the current top method for human identity verification (DNA matching takes alot more time and still isn't 100% accurate).

      The article and summary are misleading, as well. This study was only performed on mice, not humans. There is additional doubt introduced from the lack of description of the experimental procedure. If the mice weren't separated long enough after the diet change, then a sufficient amount of the recognized scent may have remained for the other mice to make correct identifications.

      The comment about dogs in the summary may be incorrect as well, but I don't really know. I have never read about any studies that tried to have a dog track a person from a previous scent marker after they've undergone a radical diet change and sufficient time for the body to remove the chemical traces of the old diet. They usually give dogs an item that someone has used recently in order to track them by scent.

      I do know two things from my personal experiences as a person with a strong sense of smell:

      1. In favor of the results that the articles puts forward as 'fact' - without perfumes, colognes, other scented body products or even any noticeable sweat; a woman definitely smells different than a man.

      2. Disagreeing with the postulate from the results of the study - How best to put this delicately? The scent of certain subsets of people that stereotypically consume specific diets does indeed match scents from those diets when their scent becomes strong enough.

      Of course, I'm not a canine, so regardless of my personal experience, there may indeed be elements of a person's scent that are as unique as their DNA. Actually, if a dog's sense of smell is advanced enough, their olfactory processing could be doing on-the-fly DNA matching. Though, I've never seen someone even postulate a study that could confirm that little bit of information.

      I do agree with a couple of the other comments so far. This news has enough merit to be under a section other than Idle.

      • by fizzup (788545)

        As a matter of fact, fingerprints are different between identical twins. Source. [wikipedia.org] Source. [straightdope.com] Source. [newscientist.com] Source. [abc.net.au]

        • by winwar (114053)

          "As a matter of fact, fingerprints are different between identical twins."

          Then they aren't identical, now are they? :)

      • by ardent99 (1087547)

        Regarding your point #2, it is correct, and is consistent with the original article, not in disagreement. The problem is that the article summary is mischaracterizing the article.

        The summary says: The study showed that a persons unique odor stayed the same even if they varied their diet with strong smelling foods such as garlic and spices.

        The article says: Scientists revealed an individual's odour signature remains detectable even when their diet is changed to include strong smelling foods such as gar

    • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

      If it's comparable to fingerprints, and if fingerprints are already cross-referenced with DNA, iris and voice patterns, psychological profiles, and many other personally identifying traits of someone, then what does that do when you add odor to the list of what makes a person a person?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Detritus (11846)
      I sat through a trial in which the defense lawyer undertook a long cross-examination of the prosecution's finger print expert. I wasn't too impressed with the expert, who said that there were no standards for declaring a match. Her qualifications for the job was that she had been doing it for many years. She might be really good at her job, but the whole business struck me as slip-shod and lacking rigor.
      • I tried creating a finger print matching system for my final project in my Vision Class. I would say there are no standards for declaring a match because the quality of the fingerprints you get off the scene and the quality of the fingerprints you have in your database can effect what algorithms/thresholds you should be using. A lot of these matching systems just narrow down the possible matches and then a human can examine the finger prints pretty effectively. No one ever said it was perfect, but if yo

        • by Detritus (11846)
          From what I've read, the courts are starting to insist that the testimony of expert witnesses be backed up with scientific evidence. "I know it when I see it" doesn't cut it anymore.
  • by RockMFR (1022315)
    Two - the number of consecutive stories on Idle posted by samzenpus that have been about smell.

    If the title of the next Idle story isn't "Silent But Deadly", I'm going to be incredibly disappointed.
  • when one wears deodorant or perfume? Does the smell go away?

    • by PyroMosh (287149)

      No.

      A good analogy is having a conversation in a crowded room with lots of other conversations going on at once. Your voice doesn't go away just because it is mixed with other sounds. But at a certain point, it will become hard to distinguish from the rest.

      The important difference is that humans are better at pinpointing one sound out of many. We are relatively bad at doing the same with scent.

      Dogs (and other animals), however are great at this. That's how scent-tracking works, and it's how drug or bomb

      • by fbjon (692006)
        What might work is a strong air freshener, since they partially work by numbing smell receptors.
      • "...so he puts the drugs in baggies and then covers those baggies in garlic oil, or another strong scent. Feeling confident, he figures the dogs can't smell through that! But it doesn't work like that. The dog smells the garlic AND the cocaine. The same way you or I would hear the lyrics AND the guitar AND the piano AND the drums in a song.

        "

        I don't know much about smell amplitudes, but you can definitely mask sounds by making one louder.
        Two things happen. 1) As the sound gets too loud, your frequency resolution reduces. That is, you lose the ability to tell neighboring frequencies apart. (which means the overtones are harder to hear which means it is harder to identify the various instruments) 2) You also can only distinguish the top XdB of loudness. Just as of someone shines a bright light in your eyes, you cannot see anything else until

  • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker&gnu,org> on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:37AM (#25730639) Homepage

    I would have thought that hundreds of years of dogs tracking people would have proved this, but it's nice to know that science has figured it out officially now.

    .
    First of all, tracking is not identifying. Second of all, if two people have the same scent but non-overlapping movement paths, you can successfully track the one whose path you're on, so ability to track is not a very pure way of measuring smell-based distinguishability. Thirdly, dogs probably have vastly different ability levels for tracking by smell vs. tracking by fingerprint due to the two leaving different amounts of trail material. Fourthly throughout these years, have comparisons been made between smell-dogs and print-dogs? And fifthly, just because the market uses dogs to track on smell doesn't mean it's the best way to even track people: there may be market inertia factors and/or cost/benefit ratios that favor using smelling dogs.
    .
    Science has not figured out that hunting by smell works. They've found out that odors are better than fingerprints for identifying people. If it had gone the other way, should we all go and replace our dogs? No, they probably work best in practice, due to better hardware support for the odor-based tracking.

    • by xant (99438)

      Thirdly, dogs probably have vastly different ability levels for tracking by smell vs. tracking by fingerprint due to the two leaving different amounts of trail material.

      Yeah, they can't even get open the little tube of superglue.

  • Old hat (Score:1, Redundant)

    by nilbog (732352)

    Anyone who is familiar with dogs should have already known this for at least a couple centuries.

  • What about vodka? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ShaunC (203807) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @01:59AM (#25730747)

    I drink a lot (a fifth of vodka every two days, on average). One of my coworkers, out of 12+, claims she can smell the hell out of it on me. I shower each morning and two different Axe products are part of my showering repertoire. While I don't doubt that I sweat out some portion of the previous night's alcohol during the course of the work day, I'm curious where the threshold is.

    I put back about 375ml of vodka per night - mixed with various other beverages, typically Diet Mt. Dew, a random Gatorade, or one of Ocean Spray's delicious juices. Some nights I have no vodka, but drink 6 to 12 beers instead, depending upon the brand. And from time to time, such as last night, I'll get to sleep simply by virtue of 100mg Diphenhydramine HCl without having a drop of alcohol. This coworker swears she can still smell it, even after I've gone 48 hours and 2 or more showers since my last drink.

    I suspect that certain people have unusually strong senses of smell. We know that dogs do. I hope that I don't have any offensive BO at work, and I'd doubly hope that if I did, someone would tell me about it. That only a single coworker has mentioned her ability to "smell the booze on me" makes me paranoid, but it also makes me wonder. Is she hypersensitive, or are all of my other coworkers picking up on it and just being too polite to say anything? Knowing most of my coworkers very fondly, I suspect the former.

    Dogs have never liked me - or conversely, they've always liked me too much. To me, canines exhibit excessive hyperactivity. That's why I have a cat instead. She might be the boss of my house, but the only time she freaks out is when I drop some fresh catnip somewhere nearby.

    • by Joebert (946227)
      Nah. Alcoholics definately have a distinctive smell.

      When I worked at Wendys we had a guy there who had his own distinctive smell, that's why he was the designated dishwasher.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, she may be hypersensitive and she is certainly being polite (as the rest of your coworkers are.) The "odor" she's referring to is your *two* Axe products, she just being polite by saying booze instead of your stinking body sprays, because that crap reeks worse than anything, even an old drunk. Isn't it obvious? Forty-eight hours and two showers later it's not the alcohol she smells...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by digitalchinky (650880)

      Having never had a sense of smell myself, at all, and not knowing that body odour actually even existed until I hit about 20 years of age, I'm going to have to put this down to the latter. People are far more likely to say nothing than to speak up. This includes family, close friends, acquaintances, and total strangers.

      Sometimes I forget to slap on deodorant so I'll quite literally ask anyone close by if I smell bad. Trust me, nobody wants to answer that question, let alone have someone ask it. It's a loade

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

        I'm not sure whether mine works or not.. how would you know? People are often saying that things like roses 'smell nice' when all I can smell is that slightly damp smell that all plants smell of...

        I also can't smell body odour, but I'm not convinced half the people that say they can are able to.. they're conditioned to by advertising for deoderants etc. - they see someone that looks like they haven't washed for a few days and go 'they smell' without any other evidence.

        • by jvkjvk (102057)

          I'm not sure whether mine works or not.. how would you know? People are often saying that things like roses 'smell nice' when all I can smell is that slightly damp smell that all plants smell of...

          Hmm. Maybe that should be your first clue?

          I also can't smell body odour, but I'm not convinced half the people that say they can are able to.. they're conditioned to by advertising for deoderants etc. - they see someone that looks like they haven't washed for a few days and go 'they smell' without any other evidence.

          Yeah, and the earth is flat.

          Not to pick on you, but I am amazed at the self centered attitude some people exhibit. You almost seem to think it's a CONSPIRACY that "smell" exists.

          Would you have the same opinion if you were red/green colourblind? "People are just conditioned to see these colours by advertising..." Um, no, not in most cases. In MOST cases, when people smell someone who has BO ... they actually do smell bad.

          You've already convinced me, at least, th

        • by Rary (566291)

          "I'm not sure whether mine works or not.. how would you know? People are often saying that things like roses 'smell nice' when all I can smell is that slightly damp smell that all plants smell of...

          I also can't smell body odour, but I'm not convinced half the people that say they can are able to.. they're conditioned to by advertising for deoderants etc. - they see someone that looks like they haven't washed for a few days and go 'they smell' without any other evidence."

          Then allow me to confirm for you that your sense of smell is, indeed, not working.

          Body odour really bothers me, as do perfume and cologne. I don't need to see what a person looks like to know what they smell like. I notice particularly smelly people walking behind me before I see them. I used to work with someone who drenched his self in cologne every day, and I knew he was approaching my desk 30 seconds before I could see or hear him. And don't even get me started on department stores that make you walk th

  • That is, unless you take hormones or get a hormone imbalance. Then your scent can change dramatically.
  • Appears to be inspecting a hiked up leg...

  • "Your unique body odor" does not change, but YOUR OVERALL SMELL does!

    Notice that they carefully do not make this distinction.

    Animals, including dogs, CAN be confused by confounding odors. And those odors do include things in your diet, as well as applied scents like cologne.

    YOUR odor might not change... but that does not mean that your smell cannot change, or that things that rely on smell (like chemical sensors) will recognize you.
  • Your gait can also be used to identify you [computing.co.uk]. Something that could more easily be added to remote surveillance than a bloodhound :-)
  • by 2Bits (167227) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @02:56AM (#25730999)

    I'm not sure about odor on men (as I'm not interested in men, thank you), but odor on each woman is quite distinctive if you have intimate contact with her. That's only from personal experience (anecdote), and by no means a scientific study.

    The five women I have (or had) intimate relationship with, I can distinguish each one of them with my eyes blind-folded. A woman's distinctive smell are usually from the cheek, on the neck, from behind the ear, on the lips, etc. It's definitely distinctive, but can it be used as a unique identifier, I'm not sure.

    Thinking about it, each woman having a distinctive oder is quite natural, as this is the same thing as on other animals. After all these years of evolution, humans do not rely on smell anymore to mate or to find a mate, therefore, it has become less important and less obvious. But I think it's still there, if you pay attention to it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bytesex (112972)

      Oh yeah, I agree with you one hundred percent. And apart from the cheek, the neck, behind the ear and on the lips, there was always one other place that had a very distinctive smell to it. Now what was that again ? It was something that I had to wash off vigorously with soap before returning to the wife, that's for sure. Come, help me out !

  • Fantastic!

    Now that you guys have found my balls.... through their signature fingerprint(s), you can, well, ummmm....

  • From 2007
    http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/05/2273_human_scen.html [wired.com]
    From 2006:
    http://www.defensetech.org/archives/002329.html [defensetech.org]

    I believe the East German Stasi were doing for several decades...

  • Didn't the 4th Alien movie (the one with winona ryder) kinda show one of the problems with this?
  • by JavaTHut (9877) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @05:21AM (#25731537) Homepage

    Does idle base its story submissions solely by how well the content matches up to whatever pictures they happen have lying around?

  • Iced ink.
  • by rav0 (983195)
    Why did it take a study to find that everybody has a unique body odour? It isn't much of a discovery, did anybody actually think that we all smell exactly the same before this?
  • how to genetically alter humans to smell like dogs...

  • by Decomas (1342753) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @08:03AM (#25732245)
    In Berlin, Germany during the cold war era, the Stasi (Big Brother Police) knew this! They could track individuals with smell. [boingboing.net] In fact they have a room FILLED with little jars of every citizens' personal smell! I've been there and seen the rooms. They had special dogs trained for this too. They would open the jar and let the dog smell some... then go out into the city and find this person, they had a good success rate too which is kind of surprising. They would even track people by spraying different pheromones on their target.
    • by bendodge (998616)

      While I don't know how reliable this sort of thing really is, compared to fingerprints or something, I know that I can most definitely recognize many friends' smells when the are nearby, even outdoors. I think it'd be interesting to perform some 'unscientific' experiments, like sleeping in a different house, using different laundry detergent, etc to see if the smell can be changed. But I also don't know how well such a suggestion might go over. :P

    • You don't even have to go back to the DDR. Smell ID was used in Germany as recently as 2007. It was one of the methods used in an attempt to identify/track known and potential troublemakers attending the G8 summit. Not sure what if any results were produced.

      Apparently this method is still taught and practiced by the German police. It is also covered in criminal statutes for evidence collection.

  • sniff sniff sniff... Hi Honey!
  • by irexe (567524) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @09:09AM (#25732807)

    "These findings indicate that biologically-based odorprints, like fingerprints, could be a reliable way to identify individuals"

    Slightly off-topic, but since when do fingerprints qualify as a reliable way to identify a person? They can easily be faked, and once they are, there's no way to revoke them. It's like having a really bad passport...

  • Future societies might think us a bunch of weirdo clean freaks the way we shower once or more a day, change into freshly laundered clothes every day, scrub and disinfect everything, and apply deodorants and perfumes. Victorian England, where a bare female ankle was scandalously revealing, is considered extremely prudish by America, which is in turn considered prudish by contemporary Europeans.

    Some dirt is healthy, some odor is useful, and we have studies that suggest as much. Helps the immune system pr

  • and a distinct taste if you lick them ( not eat them ). Yeah very sexual in a sense to get that close to someone, but hey, unless your some type of prude who denies that people have sex, then you probably have done some licking of another person and have said, she/he tastes so fine or something.
  • Kerril: [moving closer] What's the matter, killer, lost your nerve?
    Vila: That's right. Pity I didn't lose my sense of smell as well.
    Kerril: What's that supposed to mean?
    Vila: You should try taking a bath sometime; you smell terrible.
    Kerril: For someone who's lost his nerve, you take risks, little man.
    Vila: You didn't go to all this trouble just to kill me.
    Kerril: Move.
    Vila: Where?
    Kerril: [gestures with gun] There.
    Vila: A mouthwash would be a good idea too.
    Kerril: Move.

    Kerril: How did you know I was here?
    Vil

  • Gift or Curse? I really don't know. I've always been very quick to identify my friends by smell, even when my friends tell me they can't smell each other. Perfumes suck, for sure, but don't mask. Garlic and other foods make me crazy, too, but don't block my ability to smell my friends and neighbors.
  • I hate the way the airport fingers me as a terrist everytime I eat a John-Bob burrito.

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

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