Science Fair

Security and law enforcement agencies are looking beyond traditional biometric identification techniques (such as the accurate but obtrusive fingerprint and iris scans and unobtrusive yet questionably accurate facial-recognition) and, based on recent laboratory research, are now considering earwax and underarm odors. Work by Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center shows that ear secretions may reveal personal identity, ethnicity, health status and sexual orientation, among other information, and researchers at Spain’s Polytechnic University of Madrid said their work demonstrates that recognizable patterns in body odor remain stable even through disease and diet change; they did admit that even the best odor technology is far inferior to a dog’s nose.