Every now and then you run across something that is so simple, yet so ingenious, that you just shake your head. This one makes you wonder why they didn’t think of it before.
You know those little explosive dye packets they place in the money bag that tellers hand to criminals during a robbery? When they open the bag it explodes and anyone nearby is painted with indelible ink? Those are cool, but this new technique is even better.
It seems that those clever folks in the Netherlands have come up with a DNA spray that is mounted near the door of a bank or other business. It is triggered by the teller or a store employee. The fine mist that is released has no odor and is completely unnoticeable, yet attaches to everyone who passes through it. It settles into their hair, clothing, and on any exposed body parts without the perpetrator knowing what has happened.
The spray contains a synthetic DNA that is apparently marked with a fluorescent marker that makes it visible under ultraviolet light. The DNA can then be sampled and sequenced. The DNA fingerprint obtained from the robber can be linked to the DNA assigned to that particular location since each has its own specific profile.
Very cool and clever.