- The Pentagon wants to sniff out fugitives – literally. The federal agency that created the Internet now challenges scientists to create a detector that could identify people by their unique, genetically determined odor.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said this week that it’s offering $3.2 million next year to find out if it’s even possible. Proposals are due Jan. 29.
Researchers have shown that mice release a urinary odor that is genetically unique, DARPA says. It’s based on the combination of acids found in varying concentrations.
So if it’s possible to detect an individual mouse, why not a human by the smell of his or her urine or sweat?
If scientists can prove that it works within two and a half years, DARPA wants to build a prototype within six years, spokeswoman Jan Walker said.
Such a detector would essentially allow on-the-fly DNA identification, measuring and collecting yet another biometric, or identifying characteristic of the human body, Walker said. [AP]
If they figure it out for urine, I know how to beat the system: if they are coming after me, I will eat pounds of asparagus – ever smell your pee after eating asparagus? I’d like to see them overcome that.