Scientists have developed a new fingerprint analysis technique that can be used to reveal what a person has been touching:
With a new analytical technique, a fingerprint can now reveal much more than the identity of a person. It can now also identify what the person has been touching: drugs, explosives or poisons, for example.
Writing in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, R. Graham Cooks, a professor of chemistry at Purdue University, and his colleagues describe how a laboratory technique, mass spectrometry, could find a wider application in crime investigations.
The equipment to perform such tests is already commercially available, although prohibitively expensive for all but the largest crime laboratories. Smaller, cheaper, portable versions of such analyzers are probably only a couple of years away.