If you drink bottled water, soda (or pop, depending on whether you are from Philadelphia or Pittsburgh), or a micro brew-beer in Dallas, Denver or numerous other American cities, you may be carrying an 'iso-signature', a natural chemical imprint related to that geographic location.
Iso-signatures are a chemical in imprint in hair due to beverages may and could be used to track your travels over time, a new study suggests in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Lesley Chesson and colleagues explain that the body removes hydrogen and oxygen atoms from water (H2O), and beverages containing water, and incorporates them into proteins, including the protein in hair. Hydrogen and oxygen exist in different forms, or isotopes. The proportions of those isotopes vary in a predictable way geographically, with higher values in low-latitude, low-elevation, or coastal regions, for instance, and lower values elsewhere.
Since manufacturers usually use local or regional water sources in producing beverages, isotope patterns in hair could serve as a chemical fingerprint to pinpoint the geographic region where a person has been.
Hey, where have you been? Oh wait, we know, because water, beer and other beverages contain natural chemical imprints related to geographic location that may help trace the origin of the drinks. Only to help criminal investigators identify the travels of crime suspects, of course. Photo: iStock
The scientists analyzed isotope patterns in bottled water, soda pop, and beer from 33 cities and found that patterns in the beverages generally matched those already known for the tap water. They noted that the isotope pattern in beverages tends to vary from city to city in ways that give cities in different regions characteristic iso-signatures. A person who drinks a beer or soda in Denver, Des Moines, or Dallas, for instance, consumes a different isotope signature than a person in Las Cruces, Las Vegas, or Laramie.
The finding may help trace the origin of drinks or help criminal investigators identify the geographic travels of crime suspects and other individuals through analysis of hair strands, the study suggests.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Gravitational Waves? Watch the LIGO press conference at 10:30 Eastern.
- Giddings: The 750 GeV Diphoton Resonance Is A Graviton
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson Accused of Rape: #astroSH Was Mainly Silent.
- LIGO, Gravitational Waves, And Laser Interferometry
- How Gut Inflammation Sparks Colon Cancer
- Viral Infection During Pregnancy Causes Autism-like Behaviors In Mice
- Do Venture Capitalists Matter?
- "What rules out dipole gravitational radiation is the energy loss rate from binary pulsars. General..."
- "Nothing I said contains a misconception. R_uv=0 describes the simulations. If you are claiming..."
- "Your comment was pre-news conference. This one is post. I glanced at the abstract, and they claimed..."
- "A common misconception. Just because a solution is a vaccum solution that does not mean that the..."
- "Gravity waves are a vacuum solution to Einstein's equations, as are black holes. So unlike what..."
- Cotton Candy Cure for Future of Organ Transplants
- Walgreens ‘Selling to Heroin Users’? Yes, to Save Their Lives
- Age-Specific Dementia Rates Falling, While New Cases Rise
- Resistance to AIDS Meds in Africa Threatens 35 Years of Progress
- Science Acceptance: The Urban-Rural Divide
- Frying Foods in Olive Oil May Provide Health Benefits
- Asthma linked to an increased time to pregnancy
- New study confirms different generics have equal efficacy when treating epilepsy
- JAMA Oncology: An expert opinion on how to address the skyrocketing prices of cancer drugs
- LIGO, including the MSU scientists, announced a record of gravitational waves
- Renovating spaces and preserving places with lasers