Summary
A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. The recovery of partial fingerprints from a crime scene is an important method of forensic science. Moisture and grease on a finger result in fingerprints on surfaces such as glass or metal. Deliberate impressions of entire fingerprints can be obtained by ink or other substances transferred from the peaks of friction ridges on the skin to a smooth surface such as paper. Fingerprint records normally contain impressions from the pad on the last joint of fingers and thumbs, though fingerprint cards also typically record portions of lower joint areas of the fingers. Human fingerprints are detailed, nearly unique, difficult to alter, and durable over the life of an individual, making them suitable as long-term markers of human identity. They may be employed by police or other authorities to identify individuals who wish to conceal their identity, or to identify people who are incapacitated or deceased and thus unable to identify themselves, as in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Their use as evidence has been challenged by academics, judges and the media. There are no uniform standards for point-counting methods, and academics have argued that the error rate in matching fingerprints has not been adequately studied and that fingerprint evidence has no secure statistical foundation. Research has been conducted into whether experts can objectively focus on feature information in fingerprints without being misled by extraneous information, such as context. Fingerprints are impressions left on surfaces by the friction ridges on the finger of a human. The matching of two fingerprints is among the most widely used and most reliable biometric techniques. Fingerprint matching considers only the obvious features of a fingerprint. The composition of fingerprints consists of water (95%-99%), as well as organic and inorganic constituents. The organic component is made up of amino acids, proteins, glucose, lactase, urea, pyruvate, fatty acids and sterols.
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