Tech Tuesday: Tagging felons with DNA & Predicting the future with Software

On Air sign at the News 1130 studios

This week on News 1130 radio in Vancouver, I discussed these items:

  • DNA Gun will tag felons for weeks: The UK based Selectamark has created a DNA gun that is being used by law enforcement and the military to tag felons using non-lethal pellets that are similar to paintball rounds. These pellets will leave specifically coded DNA on the target for weeks which would help in the identification (or elimination) a potential suspect from a situation with a large gathering of people.
  • Predict tomorrow’s disasters today: Taking a page from the tv show Person of Interest, researchers at Microsoft are experimenting with software that analyses current and previous news stories to look for patterns that may indicate catastrophic events or disease outbreaks tomorrow. The software mines over 22 years of New York Times articles and other online sources and takes into account many variables known about a particular location such as income and resource levels to predict potential hot spots or disasters waiting to happen. So far the predictions have a 70-90% accuracy rate.

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