Gribbles JV finds smart ways to tag and track DNA

New joint venture company, id-DNA, formed by Gribbles Molecular Science (GMS) and Sunshine Technologies (ST), has big plans for its latest tracking technology, which will combine DNA fingerprinting with radio frequency identification tags.

The joint venture aims to include the technology in smart cards and passports, providing a more specific way of tagging and tracking DNA.

"It's a very exciting joint venture and as we'll be incorporating DNA into tagging technologies there are enormous applications in animal testing and tracking, as well as biosecurity," said Dr Ian Findlay, chief scientific officer with the Brisbane arm of GMS. "It also will have applications in pathology fields such as tracking of path samples."

One application the company has patented is the inclusion of DNA tracking, along with other information, into cattle tags. This will enable the identification of an animal and its body parts all the way from place of birth to the dinner plate.

Another system Findlay said Gribbles has in place involves taking a DNA fingerprint, converting it into a code, then encrypting this data and putting it on a smart card. The encryption or security functions of smart cards enable them to securely manage, store and provide access to data.

"The cards will also have GPS tracking," said Findlay. "Although we are still developing this, but this will be very useful for pathology samples as we will always know where a sample is."

The company also plans to use the technology for biosecurity applications. As well as developing its own IP, it has access to a variety of GMS patents, including using DNA identification for document security. This work involves embedding 'cells' within documents, such as cheques, wills and bonds to confirm their authenticity.

"GMS is a world leader in single-cell genetic technologies and combining this DNA know-how of GMS with the tagging technologies and expertise of Sunshine Technologies, provides applications with global potential", said Findlay.

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