A new fingerprint analysis method will make it easier for forensic investigators to study old, dry fingerprints, potentially unmasking new evidence in cold cases. Using gold nanoparticles, researchers were able to target amino acids on non-porous surfaces, which will allow better analysis of latent fingerprints.
Despite advances in DNA detection and blood-sample analysis, the old-fashioned fingerprint is still a favored method for deducing who was present at a crime scene. But in some cases, it's too difficult to obtain any fingerprint evidence at all. The smudges don't last very long on non-porous surfaces, and people with dry skin don't leave very clear finger marks, for instance.
Researchers in Australia and Illinois have found a new way to target amino acids found in sweat, which can be detected after someone imprints a finger on an object. Most of the time, these dissipate in storage or in dry conditions, but the new method can sniff them out.
It measures chemical fingerprints, if you will. Researchers led by Xanthe Spindler at the University of Technology in Sydney used antibodies that bind to amino acids, and combined them with gold nanoparticles. When the antibodies bound to the amino acids, the nanoparticles helped resolve the molecular compounds, leading to a much clearer fingerprint picture.
In a news release, Spindler said the results were far better than traditional fingerprint-detailing methods, including dusting with powder and exposing it to the fumes found in superglue, which react with the amino acids. Once the fingerprint is identified, investigators would still have to use identification techniques to match the whorls, loops and arches to a particular person.
"The potential is there to go back to old cases to see what might now be recovered," Spindler said.
What I don't understand about police work is that it is possible to ask the victim who actually killed imer.
Just because the physical body has died does not mean the person has died also. We are still around in our energy body. So make contact and get all the information needed to arrest the culprit.
OK John, this is a science based magazine. If this method of yours works, you are more than welcome to prove it.
But on an actual scientific note. In many cases where gold is used as a bonding/reactive agent, other less expensive precious metals can be used, such as silver, copper, paladium, etc. I wonder if there will be any work on this in the future, as spraying a fine mist of gold over hundreds of thousands of cold case objects will get very expensive. I do like the idea of all of the killers that got away sleeping restlessly knowing that it is only a matter of time before science catches up with them.
If the criminal had 2 brain cells to rub together he wear gloves... that or use a mild acid to remove all finger/hand prints. No prints = waste of gold... That being said...
If they want to sprinkle some gold, they can sprinkle a few oz over here in this special gold dust bag I have for my retirement ;)
Seems like it would raise the problem of finding everyone who ever touched an object.