New Horizons For Ninhydrin : Colorimetric Determination Of Gender From Fingerprints

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For the past several decades, ninhydrin has been used in the development of fingerprints from surfaces. The fingerprints revealed by ninhydrin have been used to compare against other known fingerprints, whether from the person of interest or a database, which can lead to a match on a victim or a suspect on a case. But what about the fingerprints that do not have a match in a database? Can that print be of any use to forensic scientists? In the journal article, “New Horizons for Ninhydrin: Colorimetric Determination of Gender from Fingerprints” the researchers attempt to determine if a fingerprint can yield more than just a picture that can be used for comparison. Crime scenes can have hundreds of fingerprints. Some will able to be used…show more content…
Each individual gave five right thumb prints. Another advantage of this experimental design was that these fingerprints were not collected on the same day, even for the same individual. The purpose of this was to show that amino acids within a person can vary marginally day to day, but there is a noticeable difference between men and women. Also, the prints were deposited on the exact same surfaces which ensures a controlled environment. This would allow for more accurate testing without the presence of unwanted variables. The surfaces included a door knob, a desk, a chair, a bench, and a computer. All fingerprints were removed with polyethylene film. The experimental design had a few disadvantages as well. Firstly, the fingerprints were not tested on many different surfaces. The surfaces that were tested were all hard and non-porous. Also, the fingerprints were all placed knowingly which created an artificial setting. The participants knew that these prints would be tested so they were placed onto the surface as perfectly as possible. The prints were not smudged and they did not come in contact with any other substance before or during the placement. Next, the amount of participants was quite low. Fifty total fingerprints from ten individuals will not provide a great range of samples for comparison. Also, the experiment only used the right thumb print from each

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