November 10, 2008

Forensic Work Named One Of The Best 2008 Inventions

One of the top 50 inventions named by Time Magazine of 2008 is a forensic technique to find fingerprints on bullets.

The technique was developed in Northamptonshire by Dr. John Bond.  This technique detects where sweat has corroded metal on bullets, even where it has been wiped off.

Dr. Bond is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leicester's Forensic Research Center.

This method has been found to work on metals such as brass, which are used for bullets.

Dr. Bond said it may be possible to find prints on fragments of bombs of those who handled them before they exploded.

According to Time Magazine, which placed the technique as number 39 on their list of inventions, the technique could find fingerprints on a gun after it has been wiped clean. 

An electrical charge and a fine carbon powder is applied to a gun's corroded part, which reveals a fingerprint pattern.  Police are already using the four-month old technology to reopen some cases.

Dr. Bond said, "We are very pleased that our work has been recognized in this way."

"Since this technique was published earlier in the year, we have been inundated with requests from police forces around the world to assist with unsolved crimes."

"I am pleased to say that, in a number of crimes, we have been able to visualize fingerprints where conventional techniques had been tried and had failed."


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