There’s the kind of breathalyzer test we all dread, when we’re stopped by traffic cops for erratic driving. But now there’s ANOTHER kind of breathalyzer, that diagnoses diseases we may not realize we have.

Our breath can tell doctors things they want to know. BBC News quotes researcher Masood Yousef as saying, “For example, the odor of ‘pear drops’ and acetone in relation to diabetes, ammonia in relation to hepatitis, and dimethyl sulphide to cirrhosis. There are also certain compounds that seem to mark out particular types of cancer?Breath samples are much easier to collect than blood and urine, for the patient as much as for the person collecting the sample.”

For those of us who hate needles, this is good news.

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