NASA helps dicks!
Criminals the world over should be crapping their pants at this latest bit of techno-boffinery! The brainiacks at NASA have teamed up with the sheriffs at the US National Instate of justice (didn’t Aqua man work there at some stage?) and have developed a device that sounds disturbingly like something out of Star Trek!
The device will use similar technique to that of the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezous (NEAR) probe (which landed on the asteroid Eros last year) called X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). The NEAR probe use XRF to detect and identify Cosmic X-Rays that bounced off the asteroids surface – However it failed to locate any criminal activity though.
Basically, XRF can identify the chemical make up of a substance by measuring the wavelengths that it emits when it’s exposed to radiation. Jacob Trombka, a boffin at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland reckons that the same technique can be used to detect if a suspect has fired a gun or if there are traces of blood or semen at a crime scene.
The process will be quick, will not destroy the sample being ‘scanned’ and will be accurate enough to allow officers to make an arrest based on it’s findings! Trombka says that the device isn’t ready to go just yet “But by 2003 we should be testing it in real situations.” – So there you have it, only a few months to get your criminal like behavior out of the way!
Movie guide updated: I’ve added another group of titles to the Idiot’s choice – Movie guide, alphabetized it and implemented a new (spatula based) rating system… next on my ‘to do’ list: Get a life!
source: NEW SCIENTIST