The first Stainless Steel Rat book was written in 1961, and there were several others before the discovery of DNA profiling (1985). Since 1985, there were multiple books published in the series.

Has "DNA profiling" or any other kind of DNA analysis been mentioned in-universe?

  • 1
    Upvote for Stainless Steel Rat question.
    – Jim2B
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 2:12
  • Harry Harrison had a winner with this one :D +1 as well. Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


A quick scan of the 11 Stainless Steel Rat books shows no use of the term "DNA".

Genetics are, however extensively discussed in the novels with references to natural genetic traits, accidental mutation and forced genetic manipulation.

There are few malcontents and even fewer that are socially maladjusted. The few of these that are born, in spite of centuries of genetic control, are caught early and the aberration quickly adjusted. - The Stainless Steel Rat


"Yum," I said, chewing on a fragrant morsel. "My thanks to the genetic engineers who dreamed this one up. Gourmet food-and growing on trees. If it weren't for the inhabitants this planet would be a paradise." - Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues

  • So posing as someone else, under observation of authorities and their equipment, would be possible? Assume the person is in disguise, so there is no visual way to determine between the impersonator and the impersonated.
    – Towell
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 21:20
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    @XosMel - There are numerous attempts in the books to impersonate high-ranking officials, crime bosses, etc. As far as I can tell, at no point is anyone found out through genetic testing. There is an instance where our hero is identified by his possession of a metal skull but that's as close as we seem to get.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 21:29

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