PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fingerprint detection. Forensic scientist dipping an envelope in a solution of DFO in order to detect any fingerprints on it. DFO (1,8- diazafluoren-9-one) is a chemical that binds to the amino acids in the proteins in the sweat in fingerprints. When it binds to the prints it forms a chemical that fluoresces under blue light, allowing previously invisible prints to be detected. DFO is typically used to detect prints on porous materials such as paper. Fingerprints are unique to every individual and can thus be used to determine who has handled the envelope.
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