Fingerprints and Scarring
Name: Mike I.
It is a known fact that Fingerprints are the Number two
source of identification second only to DNA. I have read that
fingerprints can survive Burn and Scaring. How can this be true? The
definition of a scar is a fibrous connective tissue that forms at the
site of injury or disease in any tissue of the body. Scar tissue may
replace injured skin and underlying muscle, damaged heart muscle, or
diseased areas of internal organs such as the liver. Dense and thick, it
is usually paler than the surrounding tissue because it is poorly
supplied with blood, and although it structurally replaces destroyed
tissue, it cannot perform the functions of the missing tissue. If this
definition stands true How can anyone say that Fingerprints are Unique
for all individuals?
You raise two points: 1. A burn scar is hardly likely to be identical on any
two people, and the pattern that skin oil would leave, even if there are no
pores in the scarred area should be unique. 2. Although I, like you, have
heard that fingerprints are unique I have never seen any actual data on the
matter. If a finger print is analyzed by only matching a few characteristic
patterns that are a subset of the entire print, rather than the entire
print, it would seem possible, maybe unlikely but possible, that two people
might have indistinguishable matches of the areas sampled.
Interesting point you raise.
I just did a quick search on "fingerprints uniqueness" on www.google.com
and found the following PhD thesis which is interesting and addresses the
issue you raised:
As technology progresses, I suspect that DNA matching of fingerprint
residues, may replace, or certainly be a useful adjunct to the pattern
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Update: June 2012