While breathalyzers help police crack down on drunk driving, a similar new device is helping a University of Rhode Island graduate student analyze the dietary changes of migrating songbirds.
Just as human breathalyzers measure an individuals blood-alcohol level, David Podlesak says that his bird breathalyzer measures the "carbon signature" of a birds last meal.
"We measure the ratio of the isotopes of carbon 12 to carbon 13, and this carbon signature in their breath can tell us what the bird ate earlier in the day," said the 36-year-old Wakefield resident who is nearing completion of his doctorate.
Todd McLeish | EurekAlert!
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