Fingerprints Can Now Be Dated Within 24 Hours

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Fingerprints under a week old can now be dated within 24 hours.

Fingerprints under a week old can now be dated within 24 hours, according to The Economist.

Fingerprints have been used for over 100 years to assist in criminal trials. The first time fingerprints were used to identify and convict a murderer was in 1892. However, the main challenge with fingerprints was determining how old they were.

Doctor Paige Hinners and Doctor Young Jin Lee developed a method that allows fingerprints to be dated within 24 hours. Prior to the tests, the only possibility was determining whether or not a print is over a week old. They decided to experiment with oxidation.

Dr. Hinners and Dr. Lee conducted an experiment with three volunteers that left their prints on multiple glass slides. They tested the slides using "sensitive analytical technique called matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (maldi) to produce a spectrum of the prints’ chemical contents."

Although it was a small sample, the doctors were able to determine that the residues left by the maldi analysis can date to within 24 hours.

Fingerprints under a week old can now be dated within 24 hours.

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