Fingerprint Molecular Identification is a new forensic method that will help law enforcement determine a person’s drug use, smoking habits, gender, and even if they have touched explosives, just from a fingerprint. Producing clearer results than other fingerprinting methods, molecular identification uses a powder that binds to the acids in fingerprints, which are then analyzed in a mass spectrometer. The molecules and compounds in each fingerprint can tell a story about the individual, giving investigators more to work with than traditional FBI databases do.
Arguably the most beneficial aspect of Fingerprint Molecular Identification is its ability to help immediately eliminate certain finger prints from a crime scene and thereby save scientists from conducting unnecessary and costly tests. While the technology cannot determine the number of drugs in a person’s body, molecular fingerprinting provides fast, non-intrusive information. Some worry that employers may use the technology to drug test applicants through their fingerprints, but the developers reiterate that the sole purpose of fingerprint identification on the molecular level is for crime fighting and protecting the public.