Apr 25, 2017 | Updated: 01:53 AM EDT

‘Living, Glowing Gloves’ Is Crime Scene’s Newest Aid Of Investigation

Mar 03, 2017 09:01 PM EST

Police tape hangs across the street in front of the house that Dennis Rader lives in February 26, 2005 in Park City, Kansas.
(Photo : Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

A team of researchers have created "living, glowing gloves" that could detect certain substances during crime scene investigations. The new discovery has some scientific applications because it lights up when in contact with certain chemicals.

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According to Live Science, the "living, glowing gloves" is a hydrogel filled with "Escherichia coli". The cells were genetically bioengineered using fluorescence, so that it would light up when they come into contact with different chemicals.

Aside from "living, glowing gloves" the hydrogel was also injected into bandages. The living substance can be applied to crime-scene investigations, medical diagnostics, and pollution monitoring, as stated by the researchers.

The main challenge in creating the "living, glowing gloves" is maintaining the living cells when they are deployed in the functioning device. These living cells were only successful when inoculated in petri dishes, wherein the environment is fully controlled.

Since the struggle of the study is achieving the host for the programmed cells Timothy Lu teamed up with Xuanhe Zhao. Lu is one of the pioneers of the study while Zhao is a professor of civil, environmental and mechanical engineering at MIT. Zhao. The collaboration between the two was carried out by studying hydrogel formulations.

From the different studies, the researchers were able to offer the bioengineered bacteria a stable environment. Since the hydrogel is about 95 percent water, it does not crack when stretched or pulled and it can be fused into a rubber; thus the creation of "living, glowing gloves".

Meanwhile, according to Chemistry Explained, the most important edge during crime investigation is to avoid the innocent suffer for unjust punishment. Thus, forensics are into innovations developing some advance technologies in order to extensively investigate criminal cases. The recent study concerning the "living, glowing gloves" can be one of these advancements.

Furthermore, the researchers have tested the "living, glowing gloves" with fingertips and it lit up when they came in contact with the different chemicals. Zhao added that the design could help other researchers to design living devices more efficiently.

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