<P>Forever Surrey6 NEWS FEATURE Chemist makes her mark Identifying criminals by their ?ngerprints has been a staple part of police investigations for more than a century. T he ?rst ?ngerprint evidence involving a scene of crime mark in England was heard at the Central Criminal Court in 1902, when a burglar was found guilty because an imprint of his left thumb was found in a newly painted window sill. Today, ?ngerprints are the most commonly used form of evidence in criminal investigations, despite the introduction of DNA evidence. They result in over 60,000 scenes of crime identi?cations per year in the UK. However, there are some prints that forensic teams still ?nd difficult, if not impossible, to identify. Latent ?ngerprints are not visible to the naked eye and require chemicals to develop the ridge detail that can be used to identify a suspect. But the recovery rate of ?ngerprints is low due to either the type of surface the ?ngerprint is deposited on, the age of the ?ngerprint or the fact that the ?ngerprint has been exposed to certain environmental conditions. Recent research by Dr Melanie Bailey from the Department of Chemistry has provided a new method for revealing these ?ngerprints. She has been working in collaboration with the Home Office, the Israeli Police and the Netherlands Forensic Institute. Dr Bailey, who lectures on Analytical Chemistry and Forensics, has shown that a technique called secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) can reveal ridge detail in ?ngerprints that cannot be developed successfully using conventional developers. She said: SIMS works by directing a beam of charged particles (ions) at the surface of the sample. This causes molecules to leave the surface of the sample, and their structure is detected in the mass spectrometer. Because the ion beam can be focused to a small spot size (less than the thickness of a human hair) it can generate a molecular image of that sample. Dr Baileys study focused on three examples that have challenged police forces around the globe. In the ?rst case, ?ngerprints were deposited on aluminium foil by the Netherlands Forensic Institute successively until the ?ngerprint became very faint. The ?ngerprint was developed using superglue (cyanoacrylate), the common procedure for the police, but there were underdeveloped areas making identi?cation difficult. The ?ngerprint was then scanned using SIMS, which managed to ?ll in the gaps and reveal the ridge detail. In the second example, the Israeli police were unsuccessful in developing ?ngerprints on the handle of a hand grenade. The police failed to recover the ?ngerprints within 24 hours, the limit for conventional techniques, but using SIMs the Please go online to bring this story to life with a ?lm: www.surrey.ac.uk/foreversurrey</p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/3/3/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/4/4/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/5/5/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/6/6/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/7/7/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/8/8/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/9/9/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/10/10/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/11/11/">Page-11</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/12/12/">Page-12</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/13/13/">Page-13</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/14/14/">Page-14</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/15/15/">Page-15</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/16/16/">Page-16</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/17/17/">Page-17</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/18/18/">Page-18</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/19/19/">Page-19</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/20/20/">Page-20</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/21/21/">Page-21</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/22/22/">Page-22</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/23/23/">Page-23</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/24/24/">Page-24</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/25/25/">Page-25</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/26/26/">Page-26</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/27/27/">Page-27</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/28/28/">Page-28</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/29/29/">Page-29</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/30/30/">Page-30</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/31/31/">Page-31</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/445/hwrgghleg/32/32/">Back-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publications/445/x/sitemap.xml" target="_blank">site map</a></LI> </UL>

 

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