New Light on Crime Scenes

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A case study from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) archives which considers fingerprinting and DNA profiling, the cornerstones of crime detection. Now new techniques, pioneered by EPSRC-supported researchers, are set to take these methods to a whole new level.

The Light It Up project has developed a spray that will illuminate the tiniest DNA sample on a piece of clothing or carpet, and extract new chemical evidence from fingerprints – such as whether a suspect is a smoker or a cocaine user.

It reads like a scene from a TV crime show – and until now that’s exactly what it was. But research teams at the University of East Anglia and King’s College London have turned crime fiction into crime reality.

The techniques offer huge advantages to investigators. Not only will they be able to gather more information from crime scenes, and from evidence sent to the laboratory for analysis, but they will be able to do it quickly and efficiently.

EPSRC is a part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) partnership of research councils.

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