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Fields & Applications Forensics, Microscopy

Leaving Your Mark

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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About the Author

Jonathan James

Having thrown myself into various science communication activities whilst studying science at University, I soon came to realize where my passions truly lie; outside the laboratory, telling the stories of the remarkable men and women conducting groundbreaking research. Now, at Texere, I have the opportunity to do just that.

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