Determining Fingerprint Age

March 16, 2020 — Researchers with Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa recently published a preliminary study that explores the possibility of linking compounds found in fingerprints with their age.

A press release from the journal where the study was published, Analytical Chemistry, states that determining the age of a fingerprint could help investigators narrow down the list of people who might have been present at the time a crime was committed.

"[P]ast research has shown that a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method succeeded in determining if prints were more or less than eight days old; however, investigators often need more precision," said the press release. "To get a better idea of when prints were deposited, Young Jin Lee and colleagues looked to reactions already suspected to take place in these residues, when ozone in air reacts with unsaturated triacylglycerols left by a fingertip."

You can read the full press release here.

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Lifting Latent Fingerprints from Difficult Surfaces

ALMOST ANYONE can find, process, and lift a latent print that happens to be in a logical and obvious place like a door handle, a beer can, or a butcher knife. But sometimes, a latent print is not just sitting there in a logical and obvious place. Sometimes, you have to use your imagination to find the print and your skills to lift it.