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Nanotechnology Reveals Hidden Fingerprints

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the new-csi-devices dept.

Biotech 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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Problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18385973)

I get a lot of sperm caked in my keyboard. Can't seem to lick it out. Suggestions ?

Re:Problem QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18386085)

Step 1: Break keyboard

Step 2: Take long, broken, sharp shard and tape to edge of desk.

Step 3: Close eyes and throw self at shard. Either through the heart or neck, your choice!

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18387293)

Doesn't your sister usually do that for ya?

Fox News Buys Slashdot !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18385975)

Fox News channel has bought Slashdot !! A perfect fit !!

Utter nonsense (5, Funny)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18385983)

I don't recall seeing this in CSI.

Re:Utter nonsense (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386151)

That's because on CSI, if they were ever in a case like this, they would just take a picture of the fingerprint and then digitially enhance the image until it's a perfect match. Duh.

Re:Utter nonsense (4, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386343)

Sure it was - it was on CSI: Duluth just the other day. Guess you only watch CSI: Las Vegas, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, CSI: Hoboken, CSI: Johnsburg ...

Re:Utter nonsense (1)

slashchuck (617840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393515)

Actually if you RTFA, it's CSI:Jerusalem.

meta-editing (4, Funny)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#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"?

Re:meta-editing (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386187)

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.

Re:meta-editing (1)

jj421 (642627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386655)

I am positive it will be helpful in solving many a criminal mini-series.

Um. (2, Funny)

ari wins (1016630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386297)

"[...]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.

Re:Um. (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386385)

Don't make me call Grissom.

Re:Um. (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18387729)

OH! Now I see why nanotechnology is necessary: We're taking insect fingerprints!

I seem to remember.. (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386559)

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?

Re:I seem to remember.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18386705)

I seem to remember..
(Score:2)
by Brad1138 (590148) on Saturday March 17, @12:35PM (#18386559)
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?


No, the rate of false positives involved in that should be quite more then desirable without some method of chronologically dating the prints. With chronological dating I might have to prove that wasn't me that killed someone thousands of years ago.

Lazurus Long

Re:I seem to remember.. (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18386827)

Yes, I'm interested in finding out that Brutus wasn't Caesar's killer, but his accomplice Biggus Dickus.

Not vague, but rather exact (3, Insightful)

JSchoeck (969798) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Reinventing the wheel ? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18387743)

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.

another one.. (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 7 years ago | (#18388207)

"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!

Re:another one.. (1)

jordyhoyt (1013713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18392471)

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...

More false positives? (2, Interesting)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18388213)

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.

Re:More false positives? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18392331)

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.

Indeed, one study suggests over 1,000 fingerprint matching errors a year [livescience.com] .

Fingerprint matching is bad science.

Did you guys even read the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18388675)

I guess you neither understood it nor took Chemistry 101. the very first paragraph states that the "current method", which uses gold and silver, is unstable. This new technique is "confirmed by Antonio Cantu, an expert in forensic science for the United States Secret Service in Washington, who described the techniques as 'revolutionary' and said they 'are apt to greatly improve the recovery of latent prints on evidence'." The new method replaces the gold with oh-so-magical "nanoparticles" with long carbon/hydrogen chains that effectively stick to the carbon/hydrogen chains that comprise the print.

This is some cool chemistry... (2, Insightful)

Cheetahfeathers (93473) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:This is some cool chemistry... (1)

slashchuck (617840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393567)

... 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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