X-Ray vision may still be in the realm of fiction but researchers at Flinders University have developed a new test that could be the next best thing.
Known as Diamond Dye, the breakthrough could help police locate everything a criminal had touched without even knowing where to look.
Testing shows the dye can be sprayed over large areas of a crime scene, where it binds with tiny samples of DNA, making them visible under green light.
Flinders Professor Adrian Linacre says the technique could help police solve crimes faster, with less work and cost.
“If you think about what your hands are touching now, there is no way of seeing where they were after you move them,’’ he says.
“At a crime scene the scientist can only swab what they think the perpetrator may have touched, so they will make a decision.”
And if that decision is wrong, the swab won’t show a thing. Now police can effectively swab a whole crime scene in one go.
What’s more they no longer need to transfer bulky items to the lab for further testing because any DNA that is present can be detected onsite.
The team’s work showed DNA could be clearly spotted on items such as credit cards, mobile phones, plastic bags and cartridge cases.
And it found the dye could highlight DNA from a criminal after as little as three seconds of contact.