According to the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a British funding agency, the pollen tags can be coated onto bullets during the manufacturing process. Apparently, pollen grains are sticky enough and have a shell that is hard enough to survive being fired from a gun. Only 30 µm in diameter, the tags are invisible to the naked eye and will latch onto the gloves and hands of anyone handling coated bullets. They’re also extremely difficult to wash off completely, according to EPSRC. To multiply the number of specific tags, the pollen grains can be given unique signatures by coating them with titanium oxide, zirconia, silica, or a mixture of other oxides, says Paul A. Sermon, the research team leader and a professor at the University of Surrey, in England.
by Lauren K. Wolf |
August 18, 2008