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In the 1930s criminal investigators in the US first discovered the existence of latent fingerprints on the surfaces of fabrics, most notably on the insides of gloves discarded by perpetrators. Although the word latent means hidden or invisible, for forensic science the term latent prints means any chance or accidental impression left by friction ridge skin on a surface, regardless of whether it is visible or invisible at the time of deposition. Electronic, chemical and physical processing techniques permit visualization of invisible latent print residues whether they are from natural sweat on the skin or from a contaminant such as motor oil, blood, ink, paint or some other form of dirt. Fingerprints at a crime scene may be detected by simple powders, or by chemicals applied in situ. More complex techniques, usually involving chemicals, can be applied in specialist laboratories to appropriate articles removed from a crime scene. With advances in these more sophisticated techniques,.
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