JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fingerprints on glove. Close-up of fingerprints revealed on the palm of a glove by magnetic fingerprint powder. Magnetic fingerprint powder is a new invention used to detect prints on surfaces impossible to check by conventional means, such as this neoprene glove. The powder consists of tiny iron flakes with an organic coating that makes them stick to the greasy residue in a print. Excess powder is removed by a magnet, removing the need for brushing and hence preserving intact the delicate ridge lines that make each print unique. This example illustrates the case of a burglar who wore neoprene gloves to hide his prints but was caught after discarding one at the crime scene.
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