detecting marijuana in fingerprints

By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in News
Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 1:20 pm
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police-fingerprint-handcuffs3.jpeg
Photo: CBS Detroit

​A new technology that analyzes the sweat from your fingertips could revolutionize the drug-testing market, purportedly providing onsite results in minutes with a test so sensitive it can even detect marijuana intoxication.

The test, produced by the British company Intelligent Fingerprinting, uses gold nanoparticles and “special antibodies” to latch onto metabolites in the fingerprint, reports Stephen C. Webster at The Raw Story. It turns a specific color depending on which drug byproducts are detected.
While it can be configured to search for drugs like nicotine, methadone and cocaine, what may turn out to be its most important innovation is its purported ability to help determine if someone is actively intoxicated on cannabis.

Why is this so important? Because a number of states have either passed or are considering laws against driving under the influence of marijuana, even though accurate tests of intoxication haven’t been generally available.
Marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is fat soluble, so it stays in the body for weeks. I personally believe this is because your body loves cannabinoids and holds onto them as long as it can.
But the downside of this is that it means traditional drug testing using urine analysis or hair tests can detect whether a person has used marijuana for up to six weeks afterwards — but it doesn’t reveal if the person is high on pot at the time the test was taken.
The fingerprint test, on the other hand (the IntelliPrint™ cannabis assay), can purportedly detect minuscule amounts of drug metabolites in minutes, theoretically revealing whether that person is high or not. The development could lead to a breakthrough resulting in more accurate testing to determine whether a person is driving while high.
“Intelligent Fingerprinting has the potential to deliver the most exciting breakthrough in detecting illicit drug misuse for over a decade and it comes with identify of each individual included,” said Dr. Jerry Walker, CEO of Intelligent Fingerprinting.
The device was first announced last week, during the UCL International Crime Science Conference.

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