Leaving Your Mark
There’s much more to fingermarks than meets the dye
Jonathan James | | Quick Read
Since their inception in the late 19th century, fingermark detection technologies have played a decisive role in criminal investigations, often providing essential evidence linking suspects to a crime. Yet, many fingermarks go undetected. “We know that we don’t detect all latent fingermarks – there’s some recent work by Scott Chadwick and co-workers that shows this (1),” says Simon Lewis, a researcher based in Perth, Australia. “If we better understand this chemistry then we could potentially improve these detection rates.” While much is known of the organic component of fingermarks, there is a major element that has not been investigated. The missing piece of the puzzle? Inorganic compounds – either originating in the body or transferred by handling everyday items such as coins or cosmetics.
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