[hackerspaces] DNA Spray in Amsterdam?

Jean de Largentaye jean at largentaye.org
Tue Feb 15 14:17:08 CET 2011

On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM, Yves Quemener <quemener.yves at free.fr> wrote:
>> it's just a name.  While there is such
>> a thing as synthetic DNA that actually does imitate real DNA including
>> the ability replicate, this stiff is not that.  it's just a specially
>> encoded compound that's registered and traceable.  The SmartWater
>> variant claims to use a rare earth metal soup that's even fireproof.
> This article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/world/europe/19rotterdam.html
> claims
> As far as the DNA is concerned, “the material is identical” to human DNA,
> [said Donald van der Laan, whose company, the Rhine Group, distributes the
> spray], “though there is a different sequence of components.”

I'd be interested in more technical details. The NYT article is scant
on details, and the vague terms ("different components", "Much of the
spray’s effectiveness, he said, comes from the mystique surrounding
DNA.") incline me to believe the stuff doesn't use real DNA. Maybe
something similar as Chris pointed out, and stick the name "DNA" for
the spook factor (after all, there's no copyright on the term,

A little quick googling turns up companies claiming synthesis at
$0.30-$0.40 /base pair [1]. I find that pretty cheap, so it's possible
after all.

I can find no information on the company that makes this stuff. Patent
numbers would be an excellent lead.

Any chance someone could grab a sample? Is home replication within the
means of a hackerspace?

[1] http://biomatik.com/CustomServices/CustomGene/Gene-Synthesis.aspx

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