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News Summary: College tests fingerprint technology

FINGERPRINT TEST: Two shops on the School of Mines and Technology in South Dakota are performing one of the world's first experiments in biocryptology — a mix of biometrics (using physical traits for identification) and cryptology (the study of encoding private information).

HOW IT WORKS: Students at the Rapid City school can buy a bag of potato chips with a machine that non-intrusively detects their pulse to make sure the transaction is legitimate.

THE PURPOSE: Researchers figure their technology would provide a critical safeguard against a morbid scenario sometimes found in spy movies in which a thief removes someone else's finger to fool the scanner.

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