Catching your breath | Science News


Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


Catching your breath

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

11:15am, June 20, 2008

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.

“The lung is a soggy mess of tubes and sacs whose job is to exchange gases from

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content