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Smart Blood

"Mine ! All mine !"
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
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Halfbakers are presumed to be conversant with the concept of Smart Water <link>

It's a good idea, but expensive, and not widely used.

Now, BorgCo can odder an alternative - Smart Blood.

It works like this:

You donate one unit of blood to BorgCo. This blood is processed to harvest as much DNA as possible; the rest goes for blood products separation (plasma, factor VIII, etc.)

The DNA is converted into a non-toxic spray, and packaged. The DNA is also sequenced and the sequence passed through a one-time encryption algorithm. From then on, this is the only means by which the product is identified.

You receive a spray can of DNA emulsion which you spray on your possession. It's not your DNA; no-one knows who it belongs to.

If an item is lost or stolen and then recovered it can be swabbed and the sequence extracted. It can then be passed through the one-time algorithm and matched aganst BorgCo's database, who inform the owner.

The authorities don't have your DNA on record - it's anonymous. And thanks to technical advances, low copy number PCR can give acceptable results form very small samples.

Animal blood could be used but research tends to concentrate on improving performance for human DNA.

8th of 7, Jan 29 2010

SmartWater http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_water
Prior art. [8th of 7, Jan 29 2010]

Typeable DNA recovered from 15 year old blood stains http://www.cstl.nis...rageDNA_%20Aged.pdf
[leinypoo13, Jan 29 2010]


       "Hello, is this the BorgCo help line? My wallet's started to look like my ex-wife."
DrWorm, Jan 29 2010

       [+] Thought that DNA stability would be an issue in ambient temperatures, however link proved me wrong (might be for expensive toys only, though). Take your bloody bun!
leinypoo13, Jan 29 2010

       What's stopping a thief from heat treating the object or soaking it in formaldehyde? Most valuables are more stable than DNA.
DrWorm, Jan 30 2010

       It's not foolproof, but it's less obvious than UV marker pens, engraved serial numbers, or stick-on labels. If you want serious traceability, make critical parts of isotope-marked materials, and pay the price tag that goes with it.
8th of 7, Jan 30 2010

       Never heard of smart water, thanks. Good idea.   

       This idea seems to be based on the mistaken idea that blood is a cost-effective source of DNA.   

       In fact, it is pretty trivial and cheap to synthesize DNA custom-made for barcoding - cheaper, in fact, than extracting it from blood.   

       Also, I am pretty sure that forensic scientists would not be keen on the idea of random peoples' DNA being sprayed about willy nilly.   

       [-], alas.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 30 2010

       // blood is a cost-effective source of DNA //   

       If you "only" want the DNA (Yes, yes [MB] we know your species' erythrocytes enucleate on maturity. Suck, eggs, grandmother ... ). But there's a burgeoning market for blood and blood products. The donated unit of blood would be part of the payment for the service. And humans are a cheap and effective way of pseudo-randomly generating new DNA sequences; what's more, they seem to enjoy it. OK, take a small amount of DNA from the unit and amplify it ...   

       // trivial and cheap to synthesize DNA //   

       Noted. But also note the point about pseudo-random generation ...   

       // forensic scientists would not be keen //   

       Their problem, not ours. We only want the fame and the money.
8th of 7, Jan 30 2010

       //And humans are a cheap and effective way of pseudo- randomly generating new DNA sequences//   

       No, really, truly, in actual reality, they are not. The overwhelming majority of human DNA is conserved; the remainder is a strongly-biased shuffling of a set of variable sequences. Each particular sequence is commonly found in only two or half a dozen variants at most.   

       Therefore, in order to get a unique "fingerprint" from human DNA, you have to look at a large number of specific sequences, which are themselves a tiny fraction of the total DNA.   

       In effect, what you are saying is "Let's put a special 3- billion digit code on everything. We'll only use digits 0 through 3, and 99%+ of them will be the same in all the codes. Of the <1% that actually vary, we'll only use two of the possible four digits. Golly, that'll be a very good system. Oh, and instead of using something cheap and industrial to print these codes, we'll use people's blood."   

       "How about just using a 20 digit code, where all the digits are fully variable and can be made cheaply on an industrial scale?"   

       "Nah, our way makes much more sense."   

       I hate to say this, but I'm disappointed at the intelligence of the Borg.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 30 2010

       // I'm disappointed at the intelligence of the Borg //   

       Unfortunately for you, you have passed the test. We're going to have to do something about you [MB], aren't we ? Damn, looks like you're one of the so-called "clever" ones...   

       Besides, that's pretty much the same way credit card numbers work.
8th of 7, Jan 30 2010


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