MadSci Network: Anatomy

Re: Is there a such thing as 'Disappearing' fingerprints?

Date: Wed Jul 5 07:41:32 2000
Posted By: Dale L. Laux, Staff, Serology/DNA, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification
Area of science: Anatomy
ID: 962582033.An

Dear Laura,

Everyone has fingerprints; however, some people that work with harsh 
chemicals may remove cellular layers of skin which would make the ridges 
less prominent.  I've fingerprinted children and they have small fingers 
with extremely fine ridges and they can appear very faint.  Interestingly, 
when fingerprinting bodies, especially drowning and burn victims, we can 
actually remove the epidermis and obtain the fingerprint on the reverse 
side.  So although your friend may state that she has no fingerprints, my 
bet is that she does.

Dale L. Laux
Forensic Scientist

Current Queue | Current Queue for Anatomy | Anatomy archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Anatomy.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.