Daily Archives: 20 Oct 10

A Spray of DNA to Keep the Robbers Away

“When the McDonald’s down from City Hall [in Rotterdam] was burglarized a few years ago, its managers decided they needed a new security system

It was just about that time that local police officers were offering something totally different that they hoped would stem a rising tide of robberies that occur mainly in the immigrant neighborhoods of this rough-and-tumble port city. The new system involved an employee-activated device that sprays a fine, barely visible mist laced with synthetic DNA to cover anyone in its path, including criminals, and simultaneously alerts the police to a crime in progress.

The mist — visible only under ultraviolet light — carries DNA markers particular to the location, enabling the police to match the burglar with the place burgled. Now, a sign on the front door of the McDonald’s prominently warns potential thieves of the spray’s presence: “You Steal, You’re Marked.”

The police acknowledge that they have yet to make an arrest based on the DNA mist, which was developed in Britain by two brothers, one a policeman and the other a chemist.” (via NYTimes.com)

The Definitive Word on the Matter?

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 24: Sal Mora talks on his...
Do cell phones cause cancer? “My random browsing of the October issue of Scientific American brought me to this nice summary graphic offered by physicist Bernard Leikind of his article in Skeptic magazine Vol. 15, no. 4 (2010). Utterly basic physical principles show that cell phones (or microwave ovens) could not cause cancer, the energy content of their emitted radiations is orders of magnitude below that required to rupture chemical bonds.” (via Deric Bownds’ MindBlog)