Feeds

Portable, rapid DNA analysis tech developed

Could allow mobile database checks by plods

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Mobile fingerprint-checking equipment is already controversial before it has even rolled out widely. An announcement today may presage the next such row, as developers say they will soon roll out a "compact" machine based on "a small, single chip" which will massively reduce the amount of time taken to check a DNA sample.

The RapID™ system was unveiled today at a biometrics conference in Florida by ZyGEM Corp and its partner, US aerospace globocorp Lockheed, nowadays seeking to diverge into homeland-security areas.

"Our goal with the RapID sample-to-answer DNA analysis device is to transform today's DNA identification process from one that takes a great deal of training, sophisticated equipment and days or weeks to complete, into an affordable, on-site process that takes less than an hour," said Lockheed biometrics bigwig John Mears.

According to a statement released today by the two companies:

RapID™ leverages the latest in microfluidic research and development to accelerate the DNA identification process--essentially building a laboratory on a small, single chip that reduces the processing steps and time needed for analysis. The RapID™ platform is currently in prototype at ZyGEM's Charlottesville, Va., MicroLab laboratories, with a Beta version expected to be released for testing in select laboratories early next year.

Lockheed are targeting the RapID™ at tackling the US Justice Department's backlog of DNA requests (which is sufficiently bad that there is a Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program). However the technology might also be of interest in the UK, with its hugely comprehensive and hotly disputed police DNA database.

Privacy advocates in Blighty have previously expressed strong concern over police trials in which portable, networked fingerprint-check machines have permitted coppers to check someone's prints against the files on the street. At present this can normally only be done at a station, meaning that plods must arrest anyone unwilling to give their prints in order to conduct a check.

It seems likely that RapID™, combined with suitable networking tech, could soon offer the option for similar mobile DNA checking, with an accompanying heated civil-liberties debate. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.