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Science Technology

Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the charge-and-detect dept.
sciencehabit writes Scientists have found a way to combine Van de Graaff generators with a common laboratory instrument to detect drugs, explosives, and other illicit materials on the human body. In the laboratory, scientists had a volunteer touch a Van de Graaff generator for 2 seconds to charge his body to 400,000 volts. This ionized compounds on the surface of his body. The person then pointed their charged finger toward the inlet of a mass spectrometer, and ions from their body entered the machine. In various tests, the machine correctly identified explosives, flammable solvents, cocaine, and acetaminophen on the skin.
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Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

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  • by bickerdyke (670000) on Friday July 11, 2014 @05:26AM (#47430009)

    if you're considering a large death toll as a terrorist goal, then you're wrong. Terror is the goal, and having people killed are only the means.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday July 11, 2014 @05:33AM (#47430023) Journal

    I don't know about Acetaminophen, but I've heard compelling cases made that if Aspirin were discovered today it would be a prescription drug. Think of the side effects, the modern day "think of the children!" attitude, and pathetic need of the body politic to feel "safe" from any and everything.

  • by Rashdot (845549) on Friday July 11, 2014 @05:57AM (#47430057)

    I believe most bombings are targeted, we just almost never hear who the target was. We just read about some marketplace being blown op, but not who happened to be walking there. Besides, the reasoning could be hard to understand, in some places people can get killed for holding a wrong opinion. Or because someone wants to gain power.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:51AM (#47430199)

    Terror is the goal, and having people killed are only the means.

    Or in the case of Bin Laden, a successful attack would lead to Machiavellian scumbags within the US government turning the country into a police state for power and profit, slowly boiling away the rights and privacies of his real target: the American citizenry (who allowed murderous, abusive foreign policies to be conducted in their name).

    And to this day, they are still running his playbook, with zero intention of ever stopping.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Friday July 11, 2014 @08:24AM (#47430615)
    While true (although it's quite likely the effects are exaggerated to some degree), there's no compelling reason to have them in the same pill. People build up very high tolerances to opiates, and there isn't a whole lot by way of extra side effects in doing so, but our ability to take acetaminophen without liver damage stays about the same.

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