We have a bunch of UK scientists to thank for inventing a way of trapping DNA on brass.
The tiny tags – just 30 microns in diameter and invisible to the naked eye – are designed to be coated onto gun cartridges. They then attach themselves to the hands or gloves of anyone handling the cartridge and are very difficult to wash off completely.
Crucially, some of these ‘nanotags’ also remain on the cartridge even after it has been fired. This should make it possible to establish a robust forensic link between a cartridge fired during a crime and whoever handled it.
To date it has been extremely hard to establish such a link because of the difficulty in retrieving fingerprints or significant amounts of DNA from cartridge surfaces, which are shiny and smooth. The nanotags, which are quite unlike anything previously used in the fight against gun crime, could therefore lead to a significant increase in successful convictions.
I can just imagine Californian politicians getting excited over this.
Hat Tip: Gizmodo