A new substance dropped on fingerprints can help investigators solve crimes in the dark.
Researchers from CSIRO in Australia have developed an interesting tool to detect and analyze fingerprints at crime scenes. According to a press release from Eurekalert, a crystalline liquid could make fingerprints begin to glow in the dark in as little as 30 seconds.
The bright light produced by the crystals in the liquid provides extra contrast between the prints and the surface, making it easier for investigators to identify. Dr. Kang Liang thinks the method could be used to find fingerprints when the traditional method of dusting fails.
Dr. Liang says that the method of analyzing fingerprints using this new material reduces the number of steps needed to create a positive identification on a fingerprint. A digital reader could run the prints across a database to look for a match.
Tiny crystals bind to the residue left behind by a fingerprint, which is largely made up of proteins, fatty acids, peptides, and salts. This leaves a perfect imprint of the intricate and unique patterns on a person’s finger. The crystals create a replica so exact that it is difficult to physically destroy.
Fingerprinting has been used to solve crimes for more than a century, and this new method could improve upon presently used techniques.