Fingerprinting could now reveal more than just a name
August 7, 2007 Imagine if a single fingerprint could reveal the diet, race and sex of a suspected criminal. As far fetched as the proposition sounds, it might soon become a reality according to new research published in the August edition of the journal Analytical Chemistry. The new technique collects fingerprints along with their chemical residue - containing a few millionths of a gram of fluid - and keeps it intact for future reference. These residues can be found on all fingerprints and could be used to identify traces of items people came in contact with such as gunpowder, narcotics and biological or chemical weapons, as well as potentially being used to pin-point specific traits - like a persons sex or aspects of their diet - through spectroscopic analysis. Imperial scientists led by Professor Sergei Kazarian from Imperial College London’s Department of Chemical Engineering found that the use of commercial gelatine based tape provides a simple method for collection and transportation of prints for chemical imaging analysis.
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