Magic Marker Fingerprints
New Magic Marker Could Help Law Enforcement Identify Fingerprints

New Magic Marker Could Help Law Enforcement Identify Fingerprints

The magic marker pen, developed by scientists at the University of Leicester, can identify thermal paper in just seconds.

Scientists have brought a magic marker pen to the world of law enforcement.

Developed by Dr. John Bond OBE and scientists at the University of Leicester in England, the crime-fighting magic marker “can identify the hidden properties of receipts containing fingerprint deposits within a matter of seconds,” according to a release from Leicester.

The pen … provides forensic experts, police and criminal investigators with an easy-to-use method of determining whether a receipt, such as those from petrol stations, supermarkets and ATMs, is printed on thermal paper. The pen works by initiating a chemical reaction on the paper that changes its color if it is thermal.

Once identified as thermal paper, another gadget Bond will be showing at the event comes into play – a specially designed light source for identifying fingerprints on thermal paper that can be used to catch criminals by the paperwork they have been touching.

… The conventional method of treating non-thermal paper turns thermal paper black, obliterating any fingerprints in the process, which cannot be undone. The pen allows for paper to be quickly identified, which will be useful in criminal investigations when extracting fingerprints from a variety of paper documents is necessary.

“The ‘magic’ marker pen works by impregnating the paper with a small amount of a chemical that I discovered will react with the dye, changing its color,” Bond said in a statement. “This chemical is mixed with others in the marker to provide a viscous liquid, ideally suited for application with a marker-type pen.

“The idea is that a small corner of the receipt could be marked with the pen and if it changes color it is thermal paper,” he added. “Touching a small corner of the receipt will minimize the potential destruction of any fingerprints on the paper, helping to retain forensic evidence. The pen-like shape of the device will be handy to have in the pocket for technicians to apply as and when it is needed.”

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