X-rays could mark the fingerprint spot

Pierce, Julia
March 2005
Engineer (00137758);3/29/2005, Vol. 293 Issue 7671, p12
The article reports that dusting crime scenes for fingerprints can sometimes erase or alter forensic evidence according to U.S. researchers. But a new technique based on X-rays, developed by a team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, led by analytical chemist Christopher Worley, not only leaves prints intact, but also reveals chemical markers. These markers can be used to track missing persons or children by linking traces of substances such as soil, food or saliva to them. At present fingerprints are obtained by treating surfaces with powders, liquids or vapours, which contrast thenn with their background and allow them to be photographed.


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