First, Security Blog reported that researchers at the University of Bath, UK, may have found another means of biometrics identification. They scanned noses in 3D and categorized them by tip, ridge profile and the nasion, or area between the eyes. Now reports that Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seeks the ability to detect, track, and even positively identify terrorists and criminals from a distance -- and do so using nothing more than the heat and sweat that emanate from a person's pores; DARPA envisions myriad civilian applications for the technology, including "identifying and tracking persons from the scenes of various crimes" writer Katie Drummond reports that the U.S. military has been after scent-based detection systems for years now. In 2007 DARPA solicited proposals for sensors to sniff out terrorists using unique genetic markers found in human emanations. The idea was based on research showing that mice each carried a unique “odortype” that was consistent despite variables like stress, hydration, or diet. Odortypes are so powerful, they stick around for around a month after their host body has fled the premises.

The most state-of-the-art tech, known as E-Nose, has only succeeded in distinguishing between two different people, and relies on “detecting human odor from the armpit region.” Now, the army is launching Identification Based on Individual Scent (IBIS), and wants proposals for a more sophisticated detection system, that could “uniquely identify an individual based on scent,” at a geographical distance or after several hours or even days.

Does this all make “scent?” Email your comments to