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Earwax can reveal your ethnicity and health status
« on: February 17, 2014, 12:29:10 PM »
Press Trust of India  |  Washington  February 16, 2014 Last Updated at 15:40 IST


Earwax can provide information about a person's ethnicity, health and even tell what they have eaten, scientists say.

Scientists from the Monell Center in Philadelphia found that odour-producing chemical compounds are present in human earwax.

They also found that the amount of these compounds differ between individuals of East Asian origin and Caucasians.

"Our previous research has shown that underarm odours can convey a great deal of information about an individual, including personal identity, gender, sexual orientation, and health status," said study senior author George Preti, an organic chemist at Monell.

"We think it possible that earwax may contain similar information," Preti said.

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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 12:29:57 PM »
Earwax, scientifically known as cerumen, is a mixture of secretions from specialised sweat glands with fatty materials secreted from sebaceous glands. It can have one of two physical types: a wet yellow-brown wax or a dry white wax.

Preti's interest in earwax was piqued by the finding that a small change in a gene known as ABCC11 is related both to underarm odour production and also to whether a person has wet or dry earwax.

Individuals of East Asian (eg, Chinese, Korean and Japanese) and Native American descent have a form of the ABCC11 gene that codes both for dry-type earwax and also for reduced underarm body odour relative to individuals of other ethnicities, who typically produce a wet-type ear wax and greater body odour, researchers said.

To explore whether earwax has a characteristic odour, the researchers collected earwax from 16 healthy men: eight Caucasian and eight of East Asian descent.

Each sample was placed into a vial gently heated for 30 minutes to promote release of airborne molecules known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), many of which are odorous.

An absorbent device was then inserted through the vial's cap to collect VOCs from the closed containers, and the chemical compounds were analysed.

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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 12:30:28 PM »
The analysis revealed 12 VOCs were consistently present in the earwax of all the men. However, the amount of VOCs varied as a function of the subject's ethnic background, with Caucasians having greater amounts of 11 of the 12 VOCs than East Asians.

"In essence, we could obtain information about a person's ethnicity simply by looking in his ears. While the types of odourants were similar, the amounts were very different," said study lead author Katharine Prokop-Prigge, a Monell chemist.

Prokop-Prigge said that at least two odour-producing metabolic diseases (maple syrup urine disease and alkaptonuria) can be identified in earwax before they can be diagnosed using traditional blood and urine analysis.

"Odours in earwax may be able to tell us what a person has eaten and where they have been. Earwax is a neglected body secretion whose potential as an information source has yet to be explored," said Preti.

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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 12:34:13 PM »
mythears - Earwax can reveal your ethnicity and health status - Science and Research

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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 12:30:57 AM »
We think it's possible ra diay?
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 04:35:25 AM »
curious lang ko unsay consistency sa pinoy earwax.


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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 09:02:53 AM »
looks like in the near future earwax may be integrated into passports. ::)
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 09:05:22 AM »
and who knows, identities of crime suspects may be easy to verify during questioning.  just get the earwax and match.  what a great support for good old fingerprints.

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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 12:09:46 PM »

Hahahaha like use it as paste? LoL ;D

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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 01:21:59 PM »

I imagine there would be variations in consistency, considering the fact that we're an ethnically mixed people.

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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 01:26:33 PM »

Oops, let's put a stop to this meandering right there. Your townmate Bugsay might suggest other body fluids.


:P - tongue lolling after tasting cerumen


;D

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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 01:29:01 PM »

What an astutely novel thought from an obviously criminal mind... ;D

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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 03:17:01 PM »

ekskyus me.  investigator and profiler po, sir. :P

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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 03:18:03 PM »
better watch out for me.  i can always smell what you are up to, 3 years ahead.  aherm. 8)

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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 04:03:53 PM »

Precisely. Investigators and profilers have actively criminal minds just as criminals are astute investigators and profilers (and would proudly announce that they are so).

;D

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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2014, 05:33:06 PM »
oh?  you mean they arrest themselves?  i'm blown! ;D

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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2014, 06:06:03 PM »

Perfect female feline logic... :)



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