Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Forensic Science gets X-Ray Vision!

A new technique to detect fingerprints on surfaces that were previously impossible to get prints off, such as leather or plastic, developed at Los Alamos National Labs will be unveiled last week at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego. This new technique, called micro-x-ray fluorescence (MXRF), uses a thin beam of x-rays to detect salts found in human sweat and then use that information to construct images of the fingerprints. The team that created this technique predicts that a commercially available, portable version of the device could be in use by law enforcement within 5 years.