Since the crystallins remain unchanged once they have been created, they reflect the content of C-14 present in the atmosphere at the time of their creation. Using a large nuclear accelerator, physicists at Aarhus University can now determine the amount of C-14 in as little as one milligram of lens tissue and thereby calculate the year of birth. These are often very tricky questions to answer and frequently arise in judicial contexts. High-precision software for diagnosing eye sensitivity has been developed by researchers.
Calculating the amount of C-14 in these tissues could perhaps tell us when the cancerous tissues formed, and this could further the understanding of cancer." Citation: Lynnerup N, Kjeldsen H, Heegaard S, Jacobsen C, Heinemeier J (2008) Radiocarbon Dating of the Human Eye Lens Crystallines Reveal Proteins without Carbon Turnover throughout Life.
A new method that determines the age of a document in a less invasive way than other techniques and is also able to date documents up to five years old.
To do this, they used BIC® ballpoint pens, one of the most common makes and, therefore, the most widely used in documents subjected to legal examination.
Each document was produced at different moments using a different ink stroke pressure, factors that may alter the results and lead to dating errors.
The UPV/EHU's research team --comprising the professor of Analytical Chemistry Rosa María Alonso, Dr Itxaso San Román of the Farmartem group of the Department of Analytical Chemistry, and Dr Luis Bartolomé of the Central Analysis Service of Bizkaia (SGIker)-- has developed the Datink method that allows the period of time the ink may have remained on the paper to be determined and its age to be ascertained.