World News – UA – DNA could replace barcodes for labeling art and ballots: study


The easy-to-remove barcodes and QR codes used to tag everything from t-shirts to car engines may soon be replaced by a DNA-based, invisible-to-human tagging system. naked eye, scientists said Thursday

The DNA-based system could aid in anti-counterfeiting efforts, say researchers who said thieves had trouble finding or tampering with a transparent DNA splatter on valuable or vulnerable items , such as ballots, works of art or secret documents

In an article published in Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft said that the molecular labeling system, called Porcupine, is – unlike most alternatives – cost effective

« The use of DNA to mark objects has been out of reach in the past because writing and reading are expensive and time consuming, and require expensive laboratory equipment, » he told AFP Katie Doroschak, senior author and doctoral student at the University of Washington

Porcupine circumvents this problem by prefabricating DNA fragments that users can arbitrarily mix together to create new tags, researchers say

« Instead of radio waves or printed lines, the Porcupine labeling scheme relies on a set of distinct DNA strands called molecular bits, or ‘molbits’ for short, » the University of Washington said in a press release

« If the digital bit is 1 we add its molbit to the tag, and if it is 0 we forget it Then we can dry it out until it is ready to be decoded later « Said Doroschak

When someone wants to read the tag, water is added to rehydrate the molecular tag, which is read by a nanopore sequencer – a DNA reading device smaller than an iPhone

« The name Porcupine comes from a pun (PORE-cupine, as in nanopore) and the idea that porcupines can ‘tag’ objects and critters that dare to get too close « Said the lead author

Unlike existing object marking systems, DNA tags are undetectable to sight or touch, senior author Jeff Nivala said in a University of Washington press release

« You could imagine molecular marking being used to track voters’ ballots and prevent tampering in the next election, » Nivala said

DNA-based technology might also be able to label things that would be difficult to barcode correct

« It is not possible to mark cotton or other fibers with conventional methods such as RFID tags and QR codes, but a liquid DNA-based tag could be used as a mist », said Doroschak

« This could be useful for supply chains where tracing of origin is important to retain product value, » she added

DNA, barcode, ballot, system, molecular biology

News from the world – UA – DNA could replace barcodes to mark art, ballots: study
Associated title :
DNA could replace barcodes for labeling art, ballots: study
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Product barcodes could be replaced by synthetic DNA labels


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