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DNA of Things

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The amount of data grows exponentially and being able to manage and store it is a challenge.

The system called “DNA of things” designed by researchers Yaniv Erlich and Robert Grass allows large amounts of information to be stored in objects and faithfully reproduced in each copy.

The starting point has been a nanoscale 3D printing technology with microcrystals that allows the generation of small printable barcodes on any surface. This information, which is only a hundred-bit code, allows later access and is long-lived. Its applications include merchandise authentication or product tracking.

The researchers mention a host of possible applications for their technology. For now, some of the most relevant are the inclusion of data on drugs or construction materials. This would allow them to be safely identified and, at the same time, prevent them from being forged. Somehow it is as if each object includes its own identity card. However, one of the most curious applications would be in the field of a discipline called steganography. This term, from the Greek, means “occult writing.” That is, the ability to hide messages in objects.

The messages can be hidden in any object made of materials such as polyester, polyurethane or silicone as long as a certain temperature is not exceeded in its manufacture.

If applied to the manufacture of everyday objects, it could serve to incorporate information about their manufacture and composition, and it could also be the first step towards self-replication of machines.

The DNA of things would allow information to be transported inadvertently, housing it in almost any object.