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Nose knows noxious gases

Dyes on a new sensor react to correctly identify toxic chemicals, scientists find.

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6:01pm, September 15, 2009

A new sensor sniffs out noxious gases with on-the-nose accuracy, identifying chemicals including ammonia and hydrogen cyanide in less than two minutes, researchers report online September 13 in Nature Chemistry. A handheld, inexpensive prototype of the new nose is already underway. And the researchers hope the device may soon provide chemists or first responders to a chemical spill with a wearable detector, much like the badges worn to detect radiation.

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