Worley: Certain surfaces are known to be more difficult to detect fingerprints with the current methods. For example, prints left on homicide victim's skin are hard to detect with current methods. Prints present on dark, multi-colored type surface are another example.
Narrator: Chemist Chris Worley of the Los Alamos National Laboratory has been working on a new, x-ray-based fingerprint detection technique that reveals the chemical residue of the print itself. This method may someday offer an alternative to current technologies.
Worley: In cold cases, for example, I could see where this would be an advantage to detecting fingerprints that might have degraded over time using the current methods where they rely on looking at the organic components – oils and such that might evaporate or volatilize over time.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.