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The Morning Briefing: Surprising uses for DNA

The Morning Briefing: Surprising uses for DNA

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"The Morning Briefing" as SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about interesting uses for DNA.

"The Morning Briefing" as SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about interesting uses for DNA.

1.) Insight: DNA tests tell trees from the wood; curb illegal logging. Call it CSI: Singapore. Unlike the Crime Scene Investigators from the popular TV series, these detectives are hired to look for evidence of rogue wood from stores increasingly worried about being duped by a global trade in illegal timber now worth billions.

2.) 'DNA wires' could help physicians diagnose disease. In a discovery that defies the popular meaning of the word "wire," scientists have found that Mother Nature uses DNA as a wire to detect the constantly occurring genetic damage and mistakes that -- if left unrepaired -- can result in diseases like cancer and underpin the physical and mental decline of aging.

3.) Book written in DNA code. Scientists who encoded the book say it could soon be cheaper to store information in DNA than in conventional digital devices.

4.) Will DNA unlock the Elephant Man's final secret? Skeleton could hold key to century-old puzzle of what caused Joseph Merrick's terrible disfigurement.

5.) 'Who's Your Daddy?' Van Offers DNA Tests. Men who want a paternity test no longer have to go to a clinic if they want to find out if a child is theirs.

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure