This Tester Measures One's Breath to to Uncover Illnesses

It is well known that a dog's nose is so sensitive they can be trained to detect disease just from smell. Now, a British company called Owlstone Medical has built an IC chip that duplicates that offers the same functions with electronics.

The implications for this new technology are enormous. Now, a simple breathalyzer-type device can be used to screen patients for what are known as "disease biomarkers."Biomarkers are signs that might indicate you have pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis or even a whole host other problems including cancer. Knowing this in advance just by testing your breath could lead to diseases being detected way before they become incurable.

In the future, a trip to the health clinic might include a breath sample, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the state of one's health. The devices could potentially even become small enough, and inexpensive enough, that you could do the test in your own home.