FunWhat is huellography?

What is huellography?

A footprint is understood to be any impression, visible or molded, that an animate or inanimate object generates on the body with which it has had direct contact. In this sense, huellografía would be the branch of criminology that studies the involvement of these brands in the resolution of a criminal act . Its most well-known aspect is fingerprinting Рthe analysis, specifically, of the fingerprint Рwhich, given its development, is considered almost a discipline of its own.

A way to know the sex

This can even make it possible to determine the sex of a person from one of their fingerprints . That’s at least what a team of researchers from the State University of New York claims. As they indicate, the key lies in the levels of amino acids present in female sweat, which are almost double those of the male, due to the hormonal differences between both sexes. And we must not forget that, in essence, a fingerprint is a grease stain that a person leaves when they touch something with their fingertips.

To verify the reliability of the technique, its managers analyzed the footprints left by three women on five different surfaces. Thus, they determined that this reached 99%. Of course, the efficacy of this new method outside the laboratory is not yet known with certainty, that is, in a real crime scene: it is still not entirely clear how certain variables would affect the results, from temperature to the passage of the weather.

Fingerprints can tell a lot about us, and some experts warn that taking them may be easier than we think . A team of scientists from the National Institute of Informatics of Japan (NII) has developed a computing method with which it would be possible to replicate them from a photograph in which we are seen making the peace sign or any other position in which the fingertips are clearly visible and at a maximum distance of three meters from the lens, which includes almost all selfies. Once the fingerprints have been captured, it would be possible to violate any device that integrates this biometric security system , both doors, safes or smartphones.

Antiselfis technology

In 2014, an association of hackers warned of this same possibility by showing how they had managed to replicate the footprints of the German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, from photos that had been taken of her during a press conference. Fortunately, the NII researchers have also created a solution: the design of a thin transparent plastic sheet that, stuck on the fingertips, causes light to refract on them, projecting a blurry and unidentifiable spot towards the camera.

However, fingerprint examination is not the only field of study for huellography. This is also in charge of examining the tire marks left on the ground and that allow to know the direction, speed and weight of a vehicle or even if the driver could act intentionally or negligently in the fact under investigation. In addition, it is interesting to study those that the animals leave at the crime scene, those that are found in a corpse – these could reveal if any tool has been used to manipulate it or if it has been moved – or the otograms, that is, those that human ears generate when they come into contact with a surface. These are as exclusive as fingerprints and have already made it possible to solve various crimes related to burglaries at home.

Images: West Midlands Police – Paul Miller / State University of New York

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