Dusting for fingerprints can sometimes alter the prints, erasing valuable forensic clues. Now, chemists say they have developed a new fingerprint visualization technique using X-rays that leaves prints intact and, in addition, reveals chemical markers that could give investigators new clues for tracking criminals and missing persons. Their technique was described today at the 229th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
The technique could be especially promising for tracking down missing or lost children, according to the researchers. Children’s fingerprints are often more difficult to detect than adult’s. The new method could detect prints based on chemical markers left behind in the child’s fingerprints due to the presence of food, soil or saliva that can be used to track down evidence of the child’s movements, the scientists say.
Traditional fingerprinting methods involve treating samples with powders, liquids or vapors to add color to the fingerprint so it can be easily photographed, a process called contrast enhancement. But fingerprints present on certain substances such as fibrous papers, textiles, wood, leather, plastic, multi-colored backgrounds and human skin can sometimes be difficult to detect by this method, according to study leader Chris Worley, Ph.D., an analytical chemist with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Besides permanently altering the prints, developing an effective visualization method can sometimes be time consuming, he adds.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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