Although fingerprinting remains a totally useful way for exploring who may have been present at the scene of a crime, the basic premise of the technique utilized by crime scene investigators – visual comparisons between two units of fingerprints has improved in a very very long time.
However, a fresh method of getting people’s prints not just files what their fingerprints appear to be, but could help investigators determine whether the individual was a male or a female – an may tell a lot more about them too.
Fingerprints have really been treated as pictures for more than a hundred years. The only major improvements in recent years have been due to software and databases that make it faster to match fingerprints,” according to Jan Halamek, a forensic scientist at the State University of New York at Albany.
Halamek and fellow scientists have instead created a method where fingerprints aren’t merely addressed as visible records. Somewhat, the sweat remains are analysed for their biochemical content – specially, the proteins they incorporate, which could show the gender of the person who left the print. It is because the levels of amino acid in women sweat are about twice as high as that of men.
More so, to test their system on a series of 50 mimicked fingerprint samples, the researchers ran the procedure on a very small sample group of three males and three females.
As well as evaluating their program on the series of 50 resembled fingerprint products, the procedure ran on the tiny test band of three males and three ladies.
While doing so, the crew could efficiently differentiate between the fingerprints of a male and a female subjects on the variety of areas, including a polyethylene sheet, a doorknob, a laminated pc, a bench top and a computer screen.
To extract the amino acids, the researchers transfer the print to a polyethylene film, separating the amino acids from the lipids with a drop of diluted hydrochloric acid. The amino acid levels are then measured using an enzyme-based colorimetric test. Compared to other means of analysing prints, such as mass spectrometry, it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to perform.
The researchers acknowledge they’ll need to reproduce their conclusions with a larger sample, but also desire to refine the machine and produce a way of finding even more about a person based on their fingerprint, using other bio-markers in addition to amino acids.
We want to create a very simple kit which can determine on the spot whether the person was young or old, male or female, and their ethnicity,” says Halamek.