Friday, December 18, 2009

Modern Fingerprinting - An Unintentional Discovery

Although the science of fingerprinting began with the work of Francis Galton in the nineteenth century, detectives still had trouble locating the tell-tale marks. Then, in 1982, some researchers at the US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory in Japan cracked a fish tank. When they patched it together with superglue (cyanoacrylate), they noticed the fingerprints on the glass standing out in proud relief. The fumes from the glue had condensed on oils in the prints, rendering them highly visible.Cyanoacrylate is now an important weapon in the forensic scientist’s armoury.

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