This blows: Swedish researchers develop breathalyzer that detects pot and cocaine

sens_abues headerThanks to technology, the fuzz have a wealth of different ways to catch you driving under the influence. But simply catching you driving like a buffoon isn’t the problem. Anybody with eyes can tell that that the guy doing 95 and peeing out his sunroof probably had one too many daiquiris at karaoke night. The problem is proving that you’re actually under the influence.

Booze is one thing. Cops have all kinds of neat little tricks and gizmos they can use to determine if you’re drunk. The Horizontal Gaze Nygstamus test, the Walk-and-Turn test, the One Leg Stand test (not to be confused with the One Night Stand test, which can also lead to handcuffs, awkward positions, and waking up in a strange place next to somebody you don’t recognize), and the infamous breathalyzer test – they’re all great for revealing just how plastered you are. They’re just not so good at telling when you’ve just, say, taken a few too many bong rips, or perhaps gakked up a couple lines of grade-A Colombian blow.

But that’s all about to change. Thanks to some clever research from Swedish scientists, Johnny Law will soon be able to tell when you’ve been smoking Mary Jane. Just this past week, researchers at the Stockholm’s Karolinska Insititute announced that they successfully detected a wide range of drugs using simple breath analysis tests. The researchers recruited 47 subjects from Stockholm Drug Emergency Clinic and collected blood and urine samples from each of them to use as a baseline for the experiment. They then had the subjects blow into a device called SensAbues to collect the contents of their lungs, which were then parsed using chromatography and mass-spectrometry techniques.

sens_abues modell1In all of the tests, the researchers were able to accurately detect more than nine substances, including amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, heroin, THC, Diazepam, Oxazepam, cocaine, and benzoylecgonine. And that’s just counting the ones that were accurate enough to be touted commercially. In addition to those nine substances, researchers using SensAbues could also detect buprenorphine, Codiene, MDMA (ecstasy), Methadone, Nicotine, Continine, Zolpiden, and MDPV (bath salts), albeit with much less accuracy.

They have yet to gain widespread use by law enforcement agencies, but given the fact that SensAbues systems are already commercially available, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them make their way into the US within the next few years. You can check out the full study in the Journal of Breath Research here, but you’ll need an account to get full access.

Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.