Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Neighborhood’s DNA » Article », Digital Journalism

Here’s a message for those who believe that unique identifiers are merely an an artifact of software…

I’ve noticed DNA spray notices springing up around Amsterdam.  I assumed it was a fairly standard anti-theft device:  A crime is committed, a little nozzle is activated by the offended shop owner, and the criminal is coated in a long-lasting UV-dye.  So far, a more advanced update of the standard ‘exploding ink in a wad of money’ trick, but nothing unusual.  The DNA angle seemed like a marketing ploy to make a banal technology sound bio-futuristic.

It turns out that the dye actually does contain synthetic DNA unique to each location.  The company is a bit cagey is to the exact composition of their ‘DNA solution,’ assuring customers only that it contains all relevant information and is 100% non-toxic.  The genome may be synthetic, but if it is composed of a double-helix polymer made of nucleotides, then it is certainly not fake.

The Neighborhood’s DNA » Article », Digital Journalism

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