Back when the movie Blade Runner came out (in 1982) one of the technological wonders in that future-world was custom life forms. Not only could they customize various life forms but the makers mark could be found with a very powerful microscope. In one scene we were shown a very legible textual maker’s mark (shown below). I remember thinking at the time that the movie makers had taken wishful thinking a bit far.
The world of the movie was supposed to be 2019.
Well it’s now 2019 and we don’t have a thriving marketplace of custom made animals yet. But we do have a very good understanding of how DNA works. And we have synthetic DNA – man made DNA in which the arrangement of bases is set by programs in computers and turned into real world DNA by machines.
And even though we don’t have the animals as in the movie it would appear that the makers marks aren’t all that far off. In fact we no have the technology to take any 2D shape you can draw and turn that into a microscopic structure made from DNA. This is explained in this ScienceDaily article.
These structures are a LOT SMALLER than those imagined in the picture above. So the idea that identifiable marks might be programmed into life forms for later identification doesn’t seem all that far off now. And in the article they talk about doing the same thing for 3D structures as well.