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People use handshakes to sniff each other out

Limp or firm, your conveys subliminal social cues. Now, research reveals it also transmits that could explain why the greeting evolved in the first place.

Testing for Signaling Molecules
Scientists find that people use the touch of a handshake to sample and sniff . A sterile glove was used to identify transmitted via a handshake.
Credit: Frumin et al.


The paper ‘A social chemosignaling function for human handshaking ‘ can be freely accessed online. Contents, including text, figures, and data, are free to re-use under a CC BY 4.0 license. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.05154.001

An Insight article, ‘Social chemosignaling: The scent of a handshake,’ authored by Gün R. Semin & Ana Rita Farias of the Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.06758.