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Unhackable barcodes, now with DNA!

Heather Sparks

DNARelying on DNA's ability to hold a vast amount of information in miniscule, molecular codes, Korean scientists have created the world's first Nano-DNA Barcode System (NDBS). Suspended in a DNA-friendly buffer solution, the synthetic DNA may be sprayed-on or suffused into items that are normally hard to tag with a sticker, such as oil, agriculture products, or even money, providing invisible information on product origin, quality, or supplier. And unlike the stuff in us, this barcode DNA doesn't mutate and is unhackable, making code alteration impossible. NDBS may soon be used to track an oil spill or an outbreak of mad cow disease, or even prevent counterfeiting money or luxury goods. Just don't expect to find Hermes DNA in your fake Kelly bag any time soon.

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