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How can you tell if a fingerprint is from the right hand or left hand?
Question Date: 2018-07-10
Answer 1:

You can't. At least, not from a single print. A fingerprint is just a pattern , and viewing one in isolation doesn't really tell you anything ( not even that it was made by a human, though there is some evidence for differences based on gender ). The significance of fingerprints is that they are unique to each individual (even identical twins have different fingerprints), and they do not change over time. This means that they can be used to identify an individual by matching an unknown pattern (such as a fingerprint found on a piece of evidence from a crime) with a pattern which is known to be associated with a particular individual (a fingerprint recorded at some other time when the owners' identity could be conclusively tied to that print).

As an aside, techniques to extract more information from fingerprints are being developed, but they do not rely on the patterns themselves. Rather, they utilize residual chemicals and molecules which were on the finger and are left on the surface.

Answer 2:

I don't think there is a way to tell. One of the ways that fingerprints are described is the general shape. There are 3 main categories: loop, whorl, and arch. Loops could open either to the right or the left. Here's a site where you can see the three types:

here .

Loops on either hand could open in either direction. Identical twins apparently have fingerprints that are the mirror image of each other.

You can take your own fingerprints using an ink pad and a card or paper. If you have a magnifying glass, it's easier to study the prints.

Thanks for asking.

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