Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


A Mammoth Achievement for King’s Scientists

(c) independent - AFP/Getty

King’s College London have developed ivory fingerprinting testing techniques to help identify poachers.

Working with Metropolitan police and University College London, scientists have created a new powder that is able to lift fingerprints up to 28 days after they are deposited. Previous methods were largely ineffective on materials like teeth and bone due to its ridge-like surface.

The results, published in the Science and Justice journal, revealed that scientists testing three types of powder and found that the one containing the smallest particles was most effective in identifying individual fingerprints.

Poachers are thought to kill around 35,000 elephants a year, a species listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The development hopes to give police officers a better chance of catching wildlife poachers involved in the illegal trade. The ivory trade was banned in 1989, but the market still continues to thrive, particularly in areas of Asia.

The technique is shown to be applicable to sperm whale teeth, rhino ivory and hippo teeth.

Dr Leon Barron, a lecturer in foreign science at King’s, has said “This is the first time that fingerprinting on ivory has been thoroughly investigated and a practical solution offered”.

“Our study has shown for the first time that these newer powders could potentially be used for identifying poachers, and are especially suited to rangers working in the field” he added.

Last month Prince William called for an end to the ivory trade in his address to China’s President Xi Jinping. The Duke of Cambridge urged for Buckingham Palace’s 1,200 artefact ivory collection to be destroyed.


KCLWRFC celebrate LUSL success


The King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU) told Roar in March that “additional funds” were being invested in facilitating teams taking part in “high...


Staff writer Deborah Solomon explains the roots of the current conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and argues that the colonial past...

Chinese flag Chinese flag


The National, a pro-independence newspaper based in Glasgow, misidentified an individual who was today charged with spying on behalf of the Chinese government as...


Staff writer Claire Ducharme takes a look into the developments of slow fashion Australia and provides some tips on how to shop more sustainably....

A view of Downtown Yangon; picture taken by the author. A view of Downtown Yangon; picture taken by the author.


Staff Writer Eugenio Corrias provides personal insight into Operation 1027 in Myanmar and the future of democracy in the nation. In 2022, The Economist’s...


In her role as the Chancellor of the University of London, Princess Anne visited the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences at King College London’s (KCL)...


Staff writer Ruth Otim covers Ghana’s recent anti-LGBTQIA+ bill and its reception amongst Ghanaian advocates, denouncers, and the international community. With what headlines are...


Staff writer Ruth Otim examines the implications of Ethiopia and Somaliland’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on regional geopolitics. The new year brought with it...


The popular Tesco Express by the Strand campus has been shut until Friday 16 February for store improvements. While the renovations began over the...