In Hamburg haben sie einen Fingerabdrucksscanner entwickelt, der abgehackte Hände und abgeschnittene Finger ablehnt.
Severed fingers and even fingers cut from corpses can be used to give the bad guys entry to secure facilities, to steal cars or log on to computers.
It sounds outlandish, but the first reported case was in March 2005, when thieves stole a biometrics-activated Mercedes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Initially they took the owner with them so he could start the car, but they soon tired of his presence - and hacked off his digit before dumping him at the roadside.
To combat such bloody skulduggery, researchers at Dermalog Identification Systems in Hamburg, Germany, have developed a way for a fingerprint scanner to differentiate between live and dead tissue.