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Biotech Science

Nanotechnology Reveals Hidden Fingerprints 26

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the new-csi-devices dept.
valiko75 writes "Hidden fingerprints can now be revealed quickly and reliably thanks to two developments in nanotechnology. The thing is that they have invented an easier way to reveal hidden fingerprints, but the explanation is rather vague. The main point is that the experiments are not very stable at the moment, but with its development this technology will probably help in discovering many criminal mysteries."
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Nanotechnology Reveals Hidden Fingerprints

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  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Saturday March 17, 2007 @03:30PM (#18388213) Journal
    Since it will make it possible to retrieve more fingerprints, will it also make it more likely police detectives will try to retrieve more and more suspect prints that are damaged and distorted or not fully imprinted? While fingertip patterns might be truly unique, our means of distinguishing them by the residue they leave behind IS NOT. Usually only a few prominent points where there are easy to identify features like bifurcations, loops, and whorls are used, not the whole print. Where these features are relatively positioned one against the other is what is stored in fingerprint databases. When you have something like 8 points that match it is considered a "GOOD" match, but they are hardly the statistical homerun that things like DNA testing are. In some cases as few as five match points are used (I don't have the numbers, but this is like the lottery, much easier to match 5 even if not a winner -- much, much easier). Fingerprints might be a good way to get a good first pass for suspects, but in general the public has way too much confidence in how well the retrieved prints identify culprits.

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