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Real-Life CSI: Age Dating Fingerprints

Age dating of fingerprints could have a significant impact in forensic science, as it has the potential to facilitate the judicial process by assessing the relevance of a fingerprint found at a crime scene

by American Chemical Society

Finding out how long a fingerprint has been at a crime scene has always been a challenge for investigators. Now a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working on a technique that would help law enforcement do just that. 

Shin Muramoto and Ed Cisco have developed a method of age-dating fingerprints using a highly sensitive mass spectrometry technique. It analyzes the chemical composition of a fingerprint and tracks the migration of certain chemicals. Based on that pattern, they are able to determine how old a fingerprint is. 

Their research appears in Analytical Chemistry, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

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