5 Insanely Frivolous Uses of DNA Technology

#2. Spotting Fake Seafood


Some of us love seafood, and certainly most of us are aware that much of it can get pretty pricey. There's a reason that the "McLobster" never caught on, after all.

Well, one of many reasons.

But as we have pointed out again and again, the weirder side effect of high costs is that much of the seafood you buy is fake, from salmon dyed to look more like salmon to "crab" meat made out of a compressed slurry of fish chunks. So on top of everything else, you now have the problem of worrying if the $200 swordfish you just ordered is really authentic Australian swordfish or if it's just turkey from Walmart that's been marinated in saltwater.

This thing is 100 percent authentic sword.

That's why all around the world, people are starting to perform DNA testing on various forms of seafood to ensure that you, the snobby consumer who insists that your food be a certain species or whatever, get what you pay for.

Knowing that the cost of your meal would likely triple if they tried to swab every single fish in the sea, plans are in place to perform DNA testing on samples of fish from various boat loads to ensure that what they say they are delivering is actually what they're delivering. With almost 170,000 species in the DNA database so far, scientists at the Barcode of Life Database are well under way with talks with high-end restaurants to arrange for DNA certification, because we now live in a world where that is the only way to know if what we're putting into our mouths is actually food.

"If only this contained half as much fish and came served in a hot dog."

#1. DNA-Based Cosmetics

If you're like most of our readers, you have almost infinite money lying around, and your primary concern is whether or not your expensive beauty products are doing everything they claim. Well step back from the ledge, friends, because for just $695, Dermagenetics will test your DNA and then mix you some special face goop. For example, if they find variations in the gene that influences collagen production, they add ingredients that, uh, make your collagen stronger, or something.

Three weeks later, she was the Thing.

Don't worry, though; it doesn't cost you $695 every time you need more. That would be ridiculous! No, refills on products customized from your DNA run from $115 for .05 fluid ounces of Corrective Eye Gelee to $250 for 1 fluid ounce of the DNA Ultracustom Enhanced Repair Serum.

And then you have My DNA Fragrance, a "mystical blend of fragrance notes formulated using your DNA genetic code, which outlines the blueprint for your exclusive fragrance formulation." Well, there's no way that's bullshit.

You're looking at $399.99 worth of mystical fragrance notes.

As usual with personalized DNA products, the company sends you a testing kit, and you send back the mouth swab. A lab processes the sample for your DNA, and that's when it gets murky. Somehow or other, a perfumer takes a look at your DNA blot and translates that into a fragrance.

"This one has the genes of lavender with hints of patchouli, and is destined to die of an exotic brain disease."

The website reassures you that your DNA can't possibly result in a stinky perfume, since DNA is odorless, but just in case you're worried about it, you can always buy perfume based on Marilyn Monroe's DNA. We have no idea how they got Marilyn's DNA (we're going to go with "grave robbing"), but they say they've made a perfume using the same "mystical" process that they use to make all their DNA perfumes. Oh, and My DNA Fragrance was totally offering a cologne based on Michael Jackson's DNA, but it's sadly no longer available.

"Mmm, you smell like death."

Erik Germ writes other things over at HugeFrigginArms.com. You should follow him on Twitter.

For more horrifying things science is allowing us to do, check out 5 Scientific Theories That Will Make Your Head Explode and The 5 Most Mind-Blowingly Huge Machines Built By Science.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Mathematical Proof That the Media Is Sexist and Bad at Math.

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