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A fingerprint is the impression made by the corrugated skin, or friction ridge, that appears on each finger of the palmar side of the human hand. The skin in this area produces certain patterns and subpatterns, the most common known as “arches, loops, and whorls.” Fingerprints are often left on the surface of materials such as metal and glass when touched or handled because of secretions of sweat from the eccrine glands that are present in the epidermal ridges. Since it is generally assumed that each finger has a unique pattern of friction ridge and that this pattern remains unaltered throughout a person’s life, the fingerprint is the most widely used and trusted biometric identifier. Fingerprints have been used as evidence of personal identification in ...

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