Australian researchers have developed a new way of recovering usable fingerprints from old evidence.
The scientists, at the University of Technology in Sydney, believe it is a world first, that could help police reopen unsolved cases. They used nanotechnology to detect dry and weak fingerprints, which are not revealed by traditional techniques.
Nanotechnology reveals much sharper detail of amino acid traces from old fingerprints than existing methods…
Specimens that previously went unseen are now being revealed using new chemical treatments that target amino acids. These are molecules commonly found in sweat and are therefore present in most fingerprints.
While the targeting of amino acids in this area has been used for decades, the researchers in Sydney are employing nanotechnology to give degraded samples sharper detail.
“If we get something that does work really well and is able to enhance prints on old evidence there is always that potential to use it for cold cases and things like that and for older evidence that may have been laying around for quite a while,” says Dr Xanthe Spindler…
The research is continuing and Dr Spindler says it is an important step forward in efforts to conquer one of the great goals of forensic science – to recover fingerprints from human skin.
We will see this on CSI next season no doubt.