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Moistened Hands Do Not Necessarily Allude to High Quality Fingerprints: The Relationship Between Palmar Moisture and Fingerprint Donorship


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Joseph Almog, Ph.D.
Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry
The Institute of Chemistry
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Givat Ram Campus
Jerusalem 91904


Abstract:  We explored the quality distribution of ninhydrin-developed prints on A4 bond paper in two groups of individuals, in Israel and in India. While the quality distributions of the developed marks in both countries had some dissimilarities, both groups showed the expected bell-shape distribution, with the majority of the donors belonging to the central zone, defined as “average” or “good.” Attempt was made to correlate between a physiological feature, palmar moisture, and the fingerprint donorship. As a rule, high fingermark quality could be associated with sweating hands, but there were individuals with moist palms whose fingermarks had a low score and vice versa. This finding supports the logical but hitherto unproven assumption that besides the amount of palmar sweat, the other physiological factor governing the prints’ quality is the total amount of substrate, amino acids in this case, in the latent deposits, which depends on the substrate concentration in the sweat.

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