May 22, 2013 | 11:01 AM (BD Time)
22 May, 2013 Wednesday
Fingerprints provide new evidence
A technology to extract fingerprints from a crime scene could show if a criminal suspect has taken drugs or been in contact with explosives.
Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University have developed a way to capture fingerprints that can identify substances touched, and secretions from a person's body.
This could provide new information about a suspect's actions and habits.
Scientists hope the technology will be available to police within three years.
A fingermark contains not only a pattern of ridges, but also material from the skin surface and human gland secretions. Current police methods can only scan the ridge pattern to compare with database records.
This has limited value, according to lead author Dr Simona Francese: "Someone with a clean criminal record won't be found, and the print can often be distorted."
The new method takes multiple images of a print from many different surfaces, using a technology called Mass Spectrometry Imaging to produce a detailed chemical signature.
"We use a special powder that can recover prints from glass, wood, metal and leather. When we spray a solvent on the powder, it dissolves into crystals containing chemical substances. These can show contaminants such as drugs, explosives or cosmetics on the skin," Dr Francese told BBC News.
In one example, scientists were able to confirm if a fingerprint subject had handled a condom. They believe that this could help provide evidence in cases involving sexual crime.
Art and Culture
Focus on Chittagong
Fashion & Beauty
Food and Drink
Law and Justice
New Nation Supplement
Editor: Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Adviser Editor: A.M. Mufazzal, Printed and Published by Mainul Hosein from the New Nation Printing Press, 1.R.K Mission Road, Dhaka-1203 Phones: New Nation PABX: 7122654, 7114514, 7122655, Fax: 880-2-7122650, 9512775 email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com for advertisement, firstname.lastname@example.org