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Friday, August 5, 2011

Still relying on fingerprinting?

                                            Fingerprinting had been able to give a jump-start to forensic science. But now it seems every thing is going to take a U-turn. The story starts way back, in 2007, a Swiss woman was trying to go to US but she had been denied entry by the officials as her fingerprint doesn't match. But most weird thing was her face was recognised, problem is only with her fingerprints. Hey don't get excited the funniest part is, the officials discovered that she doesn't even have fingerprints. It turns out that she was a victim of a rare condition called "adermatoglyphia" (Dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis). In this condition the patient doesn't have fingerprints as defined as others and their sweat glands under the palm produces less sweat also.

                                          It is very fascinating that even fingerprints have exceptions in nature. Although fingerprinting technology's reliability percentage  is  still a big question, it was real help in finding culprits, especially in various murder cases. But this condition (Adermatoglyphia) caused by the mutation in human genes, has turned things more complicated. It puts every other technology like retina scanning etc. to question that what if a mutation causes a change in retinal pattern, it would be as useless as this fingerprinting, as, in this case. 
                                          What we need is a technology that is intelligent enough to correct itself. Heuristics software are becoming more and more appealing to the world. They are being used in law and order, for e.g. search programme for inventing legal arguments and software systems for argument diagramming, etc., to scientific and medical fields. Future belongs to them.