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Your fingerprints could soon tell you if you are high on cocaine

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Last Updated: May 21, 2015, 13:01 IST

Your fingerprints could soon tell you if you are high on cocaine

The non-invasive drug test for cocaine accurately detects its presence in your system via just your fingerprints.

New Delhi: A new technology developed by researchers from the University of Surrey looks at easing the task of testing suspects for cocaine consumption.

The non-invasive drug test for cocaine accurately detects its presence in your system via just your fingerprints. And yes, it can tell if you have actually consumed the drug or simply touched it.

An Engadget report notes that the technology looks for two common cocaine metabolites: benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine. These can be found in blood, sweat, and urine using a mass spectrometry technique known as Desorption Electrospray Ionisation (DESI).

As these metabolites dissipate from the sweat more quickly than in urine or blood (in which it can persist for up to a week), law enforcement will be able to tell if a suspect is currently high as opposed to having been high a few nights before.

Lead researcher Melanie Bailey said that the technology can distinguish between cocaine having been touched and cocaine having been ingested.

Also, as the sweat sample is tied to the fingerprint, faking the results is nearly impossible. The technology is still in its nascent stage and the researchers are looking at more data on the effects of dosage and timing. Yet, they are sure the technology will be made available to the law enforcement within a decade.
first published:May 18, 2015, 14:27 IST
last updated:May 21, 2015, 13:01 IST