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Biotech Science

Nanotechnology Reveals Hidden Fingerprints 26

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 Das Modell ( 969371 ) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @11:21AM (#18385983)
    I don't recall seeing this in CSI.
  • by solevita ( 967690 ) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @11:30AM (#18386047)

    this technology will probably help in discovering many criminal mysteries
    Call me crazy, but wouldn't this technology be better used solving "criminal mysteries"?
    • No, the way it is written is the way it is meant. And it's quite profound when you think about it. What it's saying is that the more we know, the more we know we don't know. It's on par with Rummy's "There are things we know we don't know, and there are things we don't know we don't know". Let that one sink in for a sec... ...WOW!

      Man this is some good weed! What is this?... ...labrador? I never heard of no labrador.
    • by jj421 ( 642627 )
      I am positive it will be helpful in solving many a criminal mini-series.
  • Um. (Score:2, Funny)

    by ari wins ( 1016630 )
    "[...]but with its development this technology will probably help in discovering many criminal mysteries."

    If the detectives in your town need a fingerprint just to discover a mystery is afoot, move. Call me when science is able to figure out a way to SOLVE crimes using fingerprints, then I'll be impressed.
  • Seeing something on Discovery chan. or somewhere that current technology (before this new tech) could find finger prints 1000's of years old. Do they really need anything better?
  • by JSchoeck ( 969798 ) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @01:39PM (#18387093)
    "the explanation is rather vague" The explanation involves detailed descriptions of the chemicals and chemical effects that reveal the fingerprints. So it's not a vague, but a rahter exact description of the mechanism (if you know a bit about chemistry). The black colored silver stuff is silveroxide by the way, if anyone wants to know.
  • How does it make current practices more efficient ?
    What does it show us that we couldn't see before ?

    By the sounds of the article, I thought maybe we'd discovered a way to uncover nano-prints left behind by people wearing gloves or somthing.
  • "Hidden fingerprints can now be revealed quickly and reliably"
    and..."the experiments are not very stable"

    so the experiments are not stable, but we can say already that the method is reliable how?

    my head is going to explode!
    • wow, nice work skimming buddy. they were saying that the old methods were unstable, the new way is much more reliable, as the article said. also, i couldn't find your second quote anywhere in TFA...
  • by DumbSwede ( 521261 ) <> on Saturday March 17, 2007 @03:30PM (#18388213) Homepage 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.
  • by Cheetahfeathers ( 93473 ) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @04:24PM (#18388743)
    This is nifty chemistry, but nanotech it ain't. Molecular nanotechnology is precise control of matter at a nanoscale level. This tech is extremely imprecise at that level.. the particles, nanoscale size or not, are let go willy-nilly into a solution to bond with other things as they will. Sounds like straight up chemistry to me.

    A nanotech version of this might be something like a patch with an array of nanoscale robotic 'arms' on one side, each holding onto one of these nanoparticles. The patch would get slapped on a surface they wanted a print off of, chemical sensors would react to the fingerprint and deposit their nanoparticle. You could build in a computer interface and upload the results directly into a computer, too.

    Now give that 'patch' legs and make it self mobile, and a way to resupply the gold nanoparticles, basic AI to hunt down most likely spots for prints, etc... now we have a police crime nanobot that's worth being called nanotech.
    • ... but nanotech it ain't.
      It seems that the only way to get funding nowadays is to use as many hot buzz-words as possible in your description of your discovery. Improved Method of Chemical Fingerprint Recovery is not bankable. Nanotechnology Reveals Hidden Fingerprints is.

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