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Smell of dollars may help border police catch smugglers

U.S. Department of Justice/Wikimedia Commons

Smell of dollars may help border police catch smugglers

Every year, billions of dollars hidden in clothing, baggage, and vehicles flow across the border into Mexico to pay for Americans’ drug habits. Now, chemists have devised a way to literally sniff out that smuggled cash. All U.S. bank notes emit a mixture of organic compounds that researchers have dubbed their “signature smell,” BBC reports. Human noses can’t pick up the odor, but the team hopes to develop a hand-held dollar detector that can. Such a device could be a great boon to border police, they said this week at the American Chemical Society meeting.

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