Recording thumbprint

Recording thumbprint

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This image is part of the sequence Science: forensics officer prepares the hand of a suspect for fingerprinting
This image is part of the feature Forensic Science

Credit: MAURO FERMARIELLO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Recording thumbprint. Inked thumb of a suspect who is being fingerprinted. The ink is applied to the tip of the digit and this is rolled once over the paper to record a print of the whole surface between each nail edge. The same is done for all the other digits on both hands. Further prints are sometimes needed of the whole hand or to show more detail. The ridges form a distinctive pattern that is unique for each person. The fingerprints can be compared to those found at crime scenes, enabling the police to link suspects to a crime.

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