Hair you go: tracking by hair

Tom James @ 01-06-2009

hair_with_pensResearchers at the LGC Chemical Metrology Laboratory and the University of Oviedo in Spain have developed a technique to track a person’s movements between different countries using a sample of their hair:

The two most abundant sulphur isotopes in hair keratin are sulphur-32 (32S), which accounts for about 95 per cent, and sulfur-34 (34S), which makes up around 4 per cent. These proportions, however, vary according to people’s diets, and, unless they take their food with them, will therefore change when people travel.

Although this is described in terms of counter-terrorism, there is no reason why it couldn’t be used for anyone and everyone.

Police organizations, including the Metropolitan Police in London, have already shown interest in the technology.

So here is yet another way by which we can be tracked and our movements monitored.

[from Wired UK][image from Evil Erin on flickr]

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5 Responses to “Hair you go: tracking by hair”

  1. Matt says:

    One imagines fugitives importing stashes of various national cusines – police finding traces of criminals apparently having travelled through eight different countries on different corners of the globe in a matter of hours.

  2. Screen Sleuth says:

    It could help police and such, but i’d rather they not study more ways to monitor me and my movements.

  3. Denni says:

    Should be interesting for people in various parts of London where you can find Afghan restaurants, curry houses, Caribbean takeaways and Mac Donald’s side-by-side not to mention the offerings in the many-varied markets and shops for home-cooking 😉

    Tomorrow I’m gonna have Trini oil-down with pigs’ tails bought from a Chinese supermarket. He,he.

  4. tut says:

    I doubt that they’ll be able to track terrorists this way. But if they actually try to use it terrorists might become recognizable by their shaved heads.

  5. tut says:

    Also, Denni:
    It is not about what dishes you eat, but about where the plants or animals for the ingredients were grown.