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Catching your breath

The amounts of certain molecules in exhaled breath could be markers for disease.

Scientists would like to take your breath away. Literally.

Exhaled vapor holds clues to your health, revealing much more than just what you ate for lunch. In recent years, researchers have been scrutinizing the misty mixture of molecules with fervor, seeking evidence of conditions ranging from sleep apnea to cancer.

Breath can also reveal exposure to pollutants such as benzene and chloroform, providing a measure of internal dose that is missed by sampling polluted air.

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