Tuesday, 17 July 2012

08:08 – Our editor sent us the QC2 galley proof yesterday, so I’ve been reading through it and making final corrections. I’ll probably finish that today, or maybe tomorrow. At that point, the book goes to the printer, and should be in the bookstores within a month or so.

Meanwhile, our stock of biology kits is starting to dwindle. We have enough to carry us for the next couple of weeks at the current sales rate, so I plan to get another 30 biology kits assembled and ready to ship over the coming week or so. We’re in reasonably good shape on chemistry kits, with a decent number in stock and another 60 kits a-building.

13:11 – As always, I’m enjoying going through the QC PDF. I really enjoy writing about and reading about forensic science. Also, as always, for some reason I’m surprised as I read to discover that this guy sounds like he really knows what he’s talking about.

And I think about stuff that for now remains in the realm of science fiction. For example, right now I’m reading the group of lab sessions on fingerprinting. I’m thinking about how often a questioned fingerprint is useless in the absence of a suspect because that print is not on file, and I think to myself that there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to reverse-engineer a fingerprint into the nuclear DNA fragment that caused that fingerprint to be expressed. Similarly, given a questioned nuclear DNA specimen for which no match is on file, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to use that DNA to construct the fingerprints of the person it belongs to. Every loop, every bifurcation and whirl, every pore, is programmed into that DNA. We just don’t know enough, yet, to reverse-engineer fingerprints to nDNA fragments or nDNA to fingerprint patterns. But I have no doubt that we’ll do it eventually. I’ve seen nothing in the literature about this idea, but it’d make an interesting project.