Scientists Develop New Method to Analyze Gunpowder and Catch Bad Guys

Recent research by Professor Bruce McCord and doctoral candidate Jenniver Greaux has led to a revolutionary method of analyzing gunshot residue, NBC Miami reported. That’s bad news for bad guys and good news for everybody else.

This new technique focuses around lead. More precisely, it focuses on the absence of it. Ammo manufacturers are changing how they develop smokeless gunpowder by removing lead from the equation. One unfortunate side effect is that police can no longer rely on the lead in gunpowder to detect and analyze gunshot residue. McCord’s approach allows him to analyze gunshot residue even if there’s no lead present.

So, how does this new technology work? Dr. McCord explains it quite succinctly, “ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray mass spectrometry.” Ah, well that clears everything right up.

In a nutshell, this new technology will enable police to detect whether or not a person has fired the exact type of ammo that was used to commit a crime, and it will still be able to do that even as the industry is fiddling with their gunpowder formulas.

This technology is still in the works, so it will probably be a while before you see sexy detectives use electrospray mass spectrometry to catch the criminals on your favorite detective show.

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