Feeds

Portable, rapid DNA analysis tech developed

Could allow mobile database checks by plods

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.