Volume 93 Issue 34 | p. 4 | News of The Week
Issue Date: August 31, 2015

Determining The Age Of Fingerprints

Forensic Science: New technique could help investigators validate and prioritize evidence
Department: Government & Policy
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Biological SCENE
Keywords: NIST, forensic science, fingerprints

A fingerprint’s distinct ridges and swirls gradually erode and become fuzzy as its chemical constituents migrate from peaks to valleys. Now, chemists at the National Institute of Standards & Technology say that how quickly those ridges fade could be used to determine how long a fingerprint has been on a surface.

That information is important for forensic scientists seeking to know which fingerprint was left near the time of a crime. “You’re trying to sort . . .

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