Latest Steroid Test makes use of Oil Exploration MethodsResearchers at the University of Nottingham have formulated a highly sensitive anti-doping steroid test that makes use of hydropyrolysis which was used in the past for oil exploration.

Hydropyrolysis is a process that makes use of high pressure environments to identify and investigate the chemical structure of a sample to detect levels of illicit steroids in urine. This test is expected to be used in the 2012 Olympics.

The study was funded by the Natural Environment Research Councils Ocean Margins LINK program. Colin Snape, Professor of Chemical Technology and Chemical Engineering at the University, remarked that though steroids are naturally produced in the human body, they tend to have a varying carbon 13/carbon 12 ratios to those introduced in an illicit manner.

Snape further remarked that researchers can investigate and come with an accurate test to identify the presence of illegal steroids in bodies of athletes and racehorses via refinement of measurement of the carbon 12 and carbon 13 isotopes.