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Forensics


— Science

Chemistry reveals whether fingerprints came from a male or a female

The discovery of fresh fingerprints at a crime scene is a promising step towards determining the culprit, though huge databases still need to be sifted through in order to find potential matches and the culprit's prints need to be included in said databases. So what if many of the suspects could be ruled out before this rigorous search even begins? A new fingerprint identification technology is promising to lighten the load for investigators, by revealing whether prints belong to a male or female.

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People identified by their own personal clouds of germs

Do you remember Pig-Pen, the Peanuts comic character who's always surrounded by a cloud of his own filth? Well, it turns out that we're actually all a little like him. Scientists have discovered that not only does everyone emit an invisible "microbial cloud," but that individuals can be recognized by the bacteria that make up their particular cloud.

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— Science

NIST's new laser technology allows high-definition 3D mapping at a distance

Using an enhanced LADAR (Laser Detection And Ranging) system, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created a long-range, laser-based imaging device that can generate high-definition 3D maps of objects at distances of up to 10.5 m (35 ft). The technology could find applications in precision machining and assembly, as well as in forensics where it could map evidence non-destructively. Read More
— Good Thinking

"Magic" marker helps investigators in hunt for fingerprints

A "magic" marker pen developed at the University of Leicester enables forensic experts, police and criminal investigators to quickly determine whether a receipt potentially containing fingerprint deposits is made of thermal paper, with another device then used to reveal the presence of any fingerprints. The devices come thanks to the work of the suitably-named Dr Bond, John Bond, from the University's Department of Criminology. Read More
— Science

Genetic differences between "identical" twins discovered

Although they only account for around three in every thousand deliveries, monozygotic, or "identical" twins are fertile fodder for crime writers and cop shows. This isn't surprising considering that DNA fingerprint testing is not able to genetically differentiate between the good and evil twin. But now German-based company Eurofins MWG Operon says it has found a way to do just that. Read More
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