Microbial Breathalyzer (2012)

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“Every breath has a (microbial) signature”

A current scientific research, also known as Human Microbiome Project, examines microbial communities that reside on the human body, to help better understand their significance in determining how we function, including their roles in health and disease. With advances in speed and sophistication of DNA sequencing, we are now able to analyze our unique microbial landscapes of our body more efficiently than ever before, allowing us to take a functional snapshot of our physiological state.

Microbial Breathalyzer is designed to collect and incubate microbes that are present in the human breath – a valuable gaseous marker containing airborne microbes drawn from the human body and the surrounding air at a given time and place. The micro-pouch generated from expiration is composed of a protective membrane, providing a sterile environment in which the microbes can be maintained for further molecular analysis.

Breathalyzer device: Sapele wood, glass, human oral microbes, leather and plastic
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Breathalyzer in action: Taking breath sample
A ‘microbial signature’. A scientific diagram showing microbial variation and abundance of the human body. Each individual would produce a different combination of colours, creating a signature pattern indicating the unique mixture of microscopic symbionts that reside inside the subject’s body.

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