The type of photography you might expect to see on US drama series CSI could become a real-life possibility using infrared light sensors.
A team from the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of South Carolina have been looking into how light sensors which operate in the infrared range can extend the capabilities of cameras beyond the conventional visible-light spectrum.
They have developed a camera that can take hundreds of photographs at once, while sending out pulses of infrared light to illuminate whatever it is focused on in the same way as an ordinary flash bulb.
It is able to photograph bloodstains - even if the blood was diluted to one per cent of its original concentration - along with common stains like coffee and rust.
Unlike the luminol test seen on CSI, no chemicals are required, meaning any blood found is not degraded for the purposes of DNA testing.
The findings are published in Analytical Chemistry, a periodical of the American Chemical Society and the most widely cited title in its discipline.