Invisible: Can This Privacy Spray Help Criminals Clean Traces Of DNA?

Invisible: Can This Privacy Spray Help Criminals Clean Traces Of DNA-


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Artist Heather Dewey-Hayborg has created magic sprays named ‘Invisible’ to remove all traces of DNA. Erase spray eliminates 95% DNA traces. While the remaining 0.5% traces are removed using ‘Replace’ spray. Company BioGenFutures will market the product for $99.

Nowadays privacy is one of the main concerns for many people. Specially, with the advent of DNA forensics now it is possible to track someone using DNA traces left from skin, hair, fingerprints, or even on drinking glasses and cigarette butts.

BioGenFutures, a firm from based in Brooklyn, has tried to solve this problem by creating different sprays to eliminate  all the traces of DNA. However, it is also possible that criminals may also use this spray to commit crime without leaving any trace. 

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In fact, there are two types of sprays which are used to achieve this objective. First one called ‘Erase’ acts as a disinfectant and clear the DNA from the surface on which it is applied. While the second one called “Replace” cloaks the left-over DNA traces by adding a different genetic material to it and altering the characteristic of the DNA.

Dewey-Hagborg, the CEO of the BioGenFutures. who designed these sprays, last year also held an exhibition “Strangers Vision” in which she exhibited 3D portraits of people using the DNA that had been picked up from the public places. The ‘Invisible’ project has also been supported by Jeremy Gruber who is the president of the Council for Responsible Genetics. According to him this technology is important so that nobody can use someone’s else DNA without his or her consent.

Invisible: Can This Privacy Spray Help Criminals Clean Traces Of DNA- Invisible: Can This Privacy Spray Help Criminals Clean Traces Of DNA-1 Invisible: Can This Privacy Spray Help Criminals Clean Traces Of DNA-2

The DNA information is used by the police for the profiling of the criminals. Hence, there are concerns that this may enable the criminals to do crimes without leaving any trace. However, according to Dr John Bond from Leichester University this is a remote possibility. DNA can also be removed through rigorous cleaning with a biological washing powder. However, it is will require the criminals to do the cleaning themselves after the crime which is rarely the case. Even most of the criminals do not use gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. Hence, this spray will have little effect on the effectiveness of DNA forensics for criminals.

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