By: Kyle James | 10-10-2017 | News
Photo credit: BBC News

New Technology Can Determine Sex, Drug Use, And Substance Particles From Decades-Old Fingerprints

A new technology sheds light on cold cases up to 30 years old by using a form of mass spectrometry to detect traces of any substance left side inside a fingerprint. The technology can be used to paint a highly detailed picture of a suspect by detecting alcohol, drug use and other substances such as hair gel or condom residue. The home office in England says the technology is a mere matter of months away from being used in casework.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: BBC News</span>

The Sheffield Hallam University has been working with the West Yorkshire police to pioneer the revolutionary technology. Dr. Simona Francese is the project leader and says the technology has already been used to detect blood in a 30-year-old fingerprint effectively proofing its potential in solving decades-old cold cases. Dr. Francese said, "I would want to see this technology in high-profile cases such a murder or rape. It's very sophisticated, it's expensive but it's worthwhile."

The new analytical process will be used to find traces of substances on or inside the ridges of a fingerprint by vaporizing the sample and firing it through an electric and magnetic field contained inside a vacuum. Different types of particles will behave in specific ways allowing them to be identified. The process can even determine the sex of an individual based only on which proteins found in the fingerprint.

Dr. Francese went on to say, "It contains molecules from within your body but also molecules that you have just contaminated your fingertips with, so the amount of information there potentially to retrieve is huge."

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: BBC News</span>

"It confirms our hopes because that's what this work is about. It's about looking to the future, fingerprints have been pretty dormant for 80 or 90 years but in the future we are hopeful that we'll be able to get more useful intelligence from fingerprints that will help us in the prevention and detection of crime."

The Home Office has invested a total of £80,000 in the project with the help of senior technical specialist Stephen Bleay to create a blueprint for police departments to follow in the UK.

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1 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 9413 2017-10-10 : 10:17

You mean it can determine biological sex. Gender is a social construct goy!

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