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A new paper proving that technology pioneered by Sheffield Hallam academics can detect the presence of a range of illegal and designer drugs from a single fingerprint gained coverage in the national media. Dr Simona Francese and her team have been working on the technology since 2010.

The journal 'Scientific Reports' has published a new paper which confirms that the technology, known as Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MALDI-MSI), can detect the presence of cocaine, THC (the chemical present in marijuana), heroin, amphetamine and other designer drugs from a fingerprint. The paper also points to the possibility of being able to use the methodology developed to detect drug use, through analysing secretions found in a fingerprint.