At last: the smoking gun

Researchers in the UK have turned to capillary-scale ion chromatography and suppressed conductivity detection to develop a new method for the forensic analysis of gunshot residues, sweat and latent fingerprints. The application of statistical techniques allowed them to extract data to reveal whether fingerprints were left by someone who had recently discharged a firearm and even whether or not the suspect is a smoker. The scale of the technology required would enable portable forensic testing as well as being amenable to situations in which analysis of metallic content is not possible.