-- A forensics instructor at The University
of Southern Mississippi and a histology technician at Forrest General
Hospital are spending the week at the National Forensic Show in St.
Louis, where the duo hope to find buyers for a special kit they've
Southern Miss' Dean Bertram and Forrest General's
Kim Wright will be in St. Louis the week of Aug. 23-27 to market
their product, a chemical solution that makes it easier for coroners
to revive fingerprints and identify dead bodies. The kit is produced
by Biocare Medical of Walnut Creek, Calif., through an agreement
with Noetic Technologies Inc., a company created for entrepreneurs
at Southern Miss.
"We will be displaying the kits at the convention
and Dean will be teaching workshops," said Wright, adding that
the kits will be aimed at crime labs and law enforcement agencies.
"Vendors from across the country are there. The products are
advertised in magazines and catalogs, and we're hoping to get them
to look at ours."
The inventors of the solution were paid a technology
fee for their intellectual property and will receive a percentage
of future sales, as will the university, Noetic president and CEO
Dr. Les Goff said.
"These are the type of opportunities Noetic Technologies
was created to produce," Goff said. "I must say that Dean
and Kim are the type of inventors and entrepreneurs that we need.
Through their curiosity and hard work, they pushed to make this
The project came together after Wright started brainstorming
about other potential uses for a buffer salt solution she was using
at the time to test tumors. Wright approached Bertram about the
forensic possibilities of the solution, and the two soon began doing
Bertram and Wright tested the product on themselves,
purposefully drying their skin and applying the solution to see
if it would reinvigorate their skin cells, which it did. "The
solution works great for enhancing tumors, so I had an idea this
would help in fingerprinting," Wright said.
The benefits of the solution are many, Bertram said.
"It's nontoxic, so you can use it at the scene of a crime,
in the field or in a lab."
Bertram said the solution could be used to identify
a decomposed body when the fingerprints are too shriveled to lift.
"We can soak the hand in the solution and bring up ridge details
(in the fingers) to the point where they can get a print. That way,
if you have their prints in a data bank somewhere, they can be identified,"