PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fingerprint detection. Forensic scientist holding part of a car number plate and a CD in fumes of cyanoacrylate in order to detect any fingerprints on them. Cyanoacrylate (the main ingredient in superglue) polymerises on contact with fingerprint residues, allowing previously invisible prints to be seen. It is typically used to detect prints on metallic surfaces. Fingerprints are unique to every individual and can thus be used to determine who has handled the items being tested.
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