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?
- War On Doping And The Hypocritical Treatment Of Lance Armstrong
- Peanut Consumption Decreases Mortality
- How Marijuana Use Affects People With Bipolar Disorder
- Avoid These 3 Risk Factors, Gain 13 Years Of Quality Life
- The New York Times On Drugs - Wrong, Naive Or Misleading?
- The Borexino Detector And Its Physics Results
- Olive Oil Destroys Cancer Cells
- "To the author: Before you write a story and assert that the treatment of Lance Armstrong was hypocritical..."
- "Above the author writes: Leipheimer was only banned for six months, and out of season so he did..."
- "I worked in cycling during the Armstrong period. Lance Armstrong was banned from cycling not so..."
- "Speaking as a woman with a family (4 kids) and a tenured professor in STEM, these are all either..."
- "Right off the bat, this article states that Lance has to repay previous Sponsors 10 million. Wrong..."
- How healthy is genetically modified soybean oil?
- Healthier males help infertile obese females conceive
- Oxytocin nasal spray causes men to eat fewer calories
- Molecule found in tree leaves helps female mice combat weight gain
- Old mothers know best: Killer whale study sheds light on the evolution of menopause