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Forensic scientist cited among world's top inventors

11.11.2008
A revolutionary new technique developed by a researcher at the University of Leicester and Northamptonshire Police has been named as one of Time Magazine’s top 50 inventions of the year.

Dr John Bond, from Northamptonshire Police Scientific Support Unit is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leicester’s Forensic Research Centre.

He has developed a method that enables scientists to ‘visualise fingerprints’ even after the print itself has been removed. He and colleagues conducted a study into the way fingerprints can corrode metal surfaces. The technique can enhance – after firing– a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small calibre metal cartridge case before it is fired.

The citation in Time Magazine states: “English physicist John Bond developed a technique for analyzing fingerprints on a gun after it's been wiped clean. Sweat corrodes metal, so Bond applied an electrical charge and a fine carbon powder to a gun's corroded part, revealing a fingerprint pattern. Police are already using the four-month-old technology to reopen some cases.”

Dr Bond has sparked worldwide interest through his technique. Speaking of the citation he said:

"We are very pleased that our work has been recognised in this way. Since this technique was published earlier in the year, we have been inundated with requests from police forces around the world to assist with unsolved crimes. I am pleased to say that, in a number of crimes, we have been able to visualize fingerprints where conventional techniques had been tried and had failed."

You can see the Time 50 Best Inventions of 2008 here:
http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/
0,28804,1852747_1854195_1854178,00.html
Please cite University of Leicester and Northamptonshire Police in any report

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

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