Earwax can be used to detect ethnicity

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PHILADELPHIA, PA- It may sound “icky” but scientists believe your inner- ear “gunk” is flush with clues about your ethnicity and identity.

A few weeks ago we told you how scientists are using body odor to identify people.  Well, based on those studies, researchers in Philadelphia at the Monell Chemical Senses Center decided to do the same with earwax.  They tested samples from 16 men- 8 Caucasians and 8 East Asians.  The results showed that while the odors were similar, *all* Caucasians had far greater amounts of 11 of the 12 Volatile Organic Compounds tested for.  This leads scientists to believe they can ID a person’s ethnicity just by looking in their ears.  If that’s not “weird” enough, scientists hope to one day use ear wax to decipher identity, gender, health status and sexual orientation.

Coming up next week, how scientists are “worming” their way into fortune-telling.

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