Molecules you leave on your phone can reveal intimate lifestyle secrets

A man looks at his mobile phone 
Scientists can now build up a detailed profile of a phone’s owner simply by looking at the molecules left behind

Intimate details of a person’s lifestyle, shopping habits and health can now be gleaned from the molecules they leave behind on everyday objects such as smartphones, pens or keys, scientists have proven.

US researchers took swabs from the mobile phones of 39 volunteers and used a technique called mass spectrometry to identify individual molecules and compounds on the case and screen.

They then compared them to the Global Natural Product Social Molecular Networking database which records the chemical make-up of thousands of products and drugs to reveal a unique profile of each owner.


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