Researchers from the University of Washington and Microsoft are developing a new DNA-based tagging system. This tagging system can be used for shopping and also for voting in the future.
When compared with the tags using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, it is a smaller, lighter and more advanced tagging system. There are also many new developments in this DNA-based computation and storage.
A new DNA-based tagging system
These DNA-based tags go by the name of Porcupine. Porcupine utilized synthetic DNA dehydrated strands to replace bulky plastic used for RFID tagging or printed barcodes.
According to the team, Porcupine is designed for shopping and can also be applied during elections to secure voter’s ballots.
How does this tagging system work?
Porcupine is programmable and can be read within seconds using a portable nanopore device. The researchers will then classify molbits from raw nanopore signal in order to avoid base-calling. Besides, the purpose of molbits is only for rag assembly readout. This can subsequently reduce readout time, increase shelf life, and make tags robust to contaminations.
Invisible and highly secured tagging
The advantages of Porcupine system lies in the minuscule size of molbits. Due to the minuscule size of it, this tagging system is invisible to the naked eye. As a result, these tags cannot be removed by shoplifters. In addition, you can place DNA-based tags even on flexible surfaces, which are not suitable for other tagging methods.
Researchers said these DNA tags are highly difficult to tamper as they cannot be detected by touch, sight, or touch. Consequently, these tags are ideal to use in tracking high-value items and separating legitimate from fake goods.
Meanwhile, Porcupine could fasten the vote-counting process in the future, unlike the ongoing U.S. elections, which would take a few days to finish.
Here are some further elaborations of Porcupine:
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