Researchers at USC develop new crime fighting camera

COLUMBIA,SC (WIS)- Scientists at U.S.C. will be testing a new tool this week that will help police find blood at a crime scene.

The idea was hatched right here in the midlands.
The camera is not your typical 35 Polaroid instant camera.

It also doesn't capture the image of what the naked eye sees at first glance.
The students working on the project call it the blood camera.

The blood camera is the latest piece of technology two chemists, Michael Myrick and Stephen Morgan, at the University of South Carolina are developing.
Morgan said,  "If you had suggested to me that I would be doing this 5 years ago, I would have said that's ridiculous."

Megan Baranowski Pearl, a graduate student working on the camera project, explained how the camera works,

"The camera will record images from this piece of fabric and then it will tell us in the end where there may or may not be blood. So while we can only see one blood stain. The end image will show us several blood stains. In fact, there are three additional blood stains down here.  If you look very closely you can see a "C" this would tell an investigator..'go to this spot' or any one of these spots and do further testing."

Morgan says the camera could be used at crime scenes to detect blood stains.

Right now, crime scene investigators use a chemical called luminol to find blood,but Morgan says the luminol test is old, and it can only be used at night. The chemical is toxic, and can potentially contaminate an entire crime scene.

More tests are needed before the blood camera is marketed to law enforcement agencies.
 It's cutting edge technology Morgan and his team are proud of.

"That's one of the surprising things about science you can learn new things combine ideas together and come up with something novel. Something no one has done before,"Morgan said.

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