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Comment: Re:Moore's law at work? (Score 2, Informative) 101

by cbailster (#28688593) Attached to: Sequencing a Human Genome In a Week

Fingerprinting doesn't rely on DNA sequencing, but does rely on the DNA sequence being different between people. Everyone's DNA contains subtle differences (particularly in the non-coding DNA regions). These differences can be exploited by various laboratory techniques to produce small pieces of DNA which will be of different sizes because of these differences. When these fragments of DNA are run down a suitable gel (usually agarose, a substance derived from seaweed) under an electric current the fragments will separate by size. The pattern of fragments formed will be unique for each individual.

Several fingerprinting techniques rely on what most programmers would best recognise as regular expression matching. For example there are enzymes in biology which will recognise certain DNA sequences but not others, and will cut the DNA in two where ever this sequence is matched. (in perl:

my @dna_fragments = split /GAATTC/, $my_dna;

is the equivalent of what an enzyme called EcoRI does). Not everyone will have the same numbers of this sequence in their DNA, and nor will they be in the same place, thus the number and size of fragments will differ. By using a suitable range of such enzymes you can generate a pattern of DNA fragments which is sufficiently unique as to identify a single person amongst a population of several billion.

for more information take a look at DNA Profiling on wikipedia

Comment: Is relative price all that relevant for hi-tech? (Score 1) 492

by cbailster (#15349111) Attached to: Everyone Still Rumbling About PS3
(Note: IANAEconomist)
Now i don't know how the US calculates its inflation rates but in the UK the inflation rates are calculated on a weighted basket of goods with gaming/leisure puchases weighted at less then 5% of the whole basket.

Inflation rates are designed to measure movement of prices throughout the whole economy. When you look at the cost of technical goods i'm sure they won't follow the global trend increasing price. As the bank of england comment:

"Computer prices have tended to fall over time as new technology has made new models better and cheaper. Computer prices might fall whether overall inflation is 2.0% or 5.0%. Conversely, some prices such as those for household services, like plumbing, have tended to rise more quickly than the overall rate of inflation."
So overall your 500 pounds (or dollars) will buy you less now that it did 10 years ago, but it will buy you More computer than it did 10 years ago!

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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