My initial reaction to discovering the Tapper patent was that it seemed like a hilarious parody. There are many silly patents, but this patent isn't silly in only the usual way, that it proposes an invention where I'm skeptical patent protection is really in order. It reads parodically because it seems to be describing the wrong thing entirely: It takes the formal structure of a patent, which is most at home when describing machines and other devices, and uses it to write a strange kind of g...
The standard DNA 'prism' is a gel electrophoresis column, that is, a
long tube filled with jelly through which an electric current is passed. A
solution containing the scissored stretches of DNA, all jumbled together,
is poured into one end of the tube. The DNA fragments are all electrically
attracted to the negative end of the column, which is at the other end of
the tube, and they move steadily through the jelly. But they don't all
move at the same rate. Like light of low vibration frequenc...