Thanks for your thoughtful review. My reading of the NYT source is that they were attributing what I summarized as "store and report the sensed activity" to the synthetic DNA. The source specifically says "creating fleets of molecule-size machines to noninvasively act as sensors to measure and store brain activity at the cellular level. The proposal envisions using synthetic DNA as a storage mechanism for brain activity." I wonder whether the "molecule-size machines" are more than the sDNA (ie, other molecules as well), but the source does not allow speculation beyond that. In response to your comment, I did change "synthetic DNA molecules" to "molecules including synthetic DNA", which I think parses the source information more exactly. The source directly says that the methods are non-invasive and derived from nanotechnology, and also gives the 100 billion number, so I feel that's well-sourced. Originally, I referred to electrophysiology to describe this method, because it's measuring neuronal electrical activity, but since the source does not use this word (and because traditional electrophysiological electrodes appear not to be involved), I've now deleted it. That leaves as "the other bits", "combining them with methods of neuroimaging and neuroanatomy". Neuroanatomy is just determining where each cell is within the brain, so I think that's self-evident. Neuroimaging is the only conceivable way to "see" what those "molecule-size machines" are doing, without using invasive methods, so I don't think that it's SYNTH, but if you disagree with me, I can delete or change it. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I looked and found the journal article which proposed this project. It could be good for historical (not newsy) material and more technical details.