Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wired News: Chips Help Catalog Katrina Dead

Link: Wired News: Chips Help Catalog Katrina Dead

RFID chips are increasingly being used to monitor the movement of goods and equipment, by the likes of Wal-Mart and the military.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human implantation in 2004, the VeriChip implants have been used for tagging pets and identifying high-security workers, but not for managing morgue cases, Applied Digital spokesman John O. Procter said.

Each chip comes packaged in a white plastic injector that looks like a bulky pen attached to a thick hypodermic needle.

Hargrove said the chips are implanted in the corpse's shoulder or placed inside the body bag, depending on the condition of the remains.

Plastic scanners that resemble TV remote controls are used to read the chips. They have screens that display a 16-digit number when passed within six inches of a chip. The same number is preprinted on bar-code stickers attached to each injector package.

Hargrove said the stickers go on the outside of the bag, on the case file and on any DNA samples taken from the remains.

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