Missions & Hardware

New Class of Biological Detectors for WIMPs

By Keith Cowing
April 1, 2014
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New Class of Biological Detectors for WIMPs

Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) may constitute a large fraction of the matter in the Universe.

There are excess events in the data of DAMA/LIBRA, CoGeNT, CRESST-II, and recently CDMS-Si, which could be consistent with WIMP masses of approximately 10 GeV/c2. However, for MDM > 10 GeV/c2 null results of the CDMS-Ge, XENON, and LUX detectors may be in tension with the potential detections for certain dark matter scenarios and assuming a certain light response.

We propose the use of a new class of biological dark matter (DM) detectors to further examine this light dark matter hypothesis, taking advantage of new signatures with low atomic number targets, Two types of biological DM detectors are discussed here: DNA-based detectors and enzymatic reactions (ER) based detectors. In the case of DNA-based detectors, we discuss a new implementation.

In the case of ER detectors, there are four crucial phases of the detection process: a) change of state due to energy deposited by a particle; b) amplification due to the release of energy derived from the action of an enzyme on its substrate; c) sustainable but non-explosive enzymatic reaction; d) self-termination due to the denaturation of the enzyme, when the temperature is raised. This paper provides information of how to design as well as optimize these four processes.

A.K. Drukier, C. Cantor, M. Chonofsky, G.M. Church, R.L. Fagaly, K. Freese, A. Lopez, T. Sano, C. Savage, W.P. Wong (Submitted on 31 Mar 2014)

Comments: 29 pages

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det)

Cite as: arXiv:1403.8154 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1403.8154v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history From: Alejandro Lopez-Suarez [v1] Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:59:15 GMT (360kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻