Researchers at the University of Technology in Sydney have announced an major breakthrough in the field of forensic science that may help resolve countless decades-old cold cases by lifting prints off virtually any surface.
Traditional fingerprinting techniques are designed to detect sweat from the eccrine glands in the skin which is left behind on surfaces. However if the print is old or dried out, these techniques may not be able to lift a usable impression.
The newly developed method instead employs nanotechnology to detect the amino acids traces present in sweat that remain on surfaces long after the rest of the print has degraded. The new technique is so promising that researchers believe it may one day allow law enforcement officers to obtain prints of any age from any surface – even human skin. [via BBC News]