New Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Could Help Automakers

Automotive industry manufacture

(DGIwire) — Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. It is one of the fastest-growing crimes, threatening jobs and even endangering public health. In recent years, the Department of Homeland Security has seized over $1 billion in counterfeit goods at U.S. borders. Counterfeiting can also be a huge safety issue. Recently, a luxury British sports car company recalled almost 18,000 cars built over the past seven years after discovering that a subcontractor had used synthetic plastic material in the manufacturing process. Counterfeiting of any kind is illegal and can cause major financial losses, but counterfeiting car parts adds an extra layer of danger—the counterfeit parts were used to make the cars’ accelerator pedals. After several different reported cases of accelerators breaking, the company investigated further and found that it was no coincidence.

Fortunately, there are still “good guys” out there that are committed to producing and delivering anti-counterfeiting solutions. Applied DNA Sciences, based in Stony Brook, NY, is one of them. The company’s services include supply chain protection, brand authentication and evidentiary solutions for law enforcement agencies. All these measures involve the company’s SigNature® DNA product, which consists of full double-stranded plant DNA. With impenetrable ink marks, high-resolution DNA authentication, and comprehensive reporting, Applied DNA’s botanical DNA-based technologies deliver the highest levels of counterfeit detection for any company.

Applied DNA’s technology has been tested under the harshest possible conditions, including UV radiation, extreme heat and cold and potent industrial baths. Through it all, the SigNature DNA mark endures. SigNature DNA is compatible with a wide variety of materials, and can be safely applied to fabrics, plastics, metals, narcotics and product packaging. The company also developed a cash-in-transit method where cases of cash are rigged with ink markers, set to mark anyone who tries to tamper with it. The DNA mark clings to human skin, and is detectable after two weeks of showers and baths. This gives the police ample time to track down and link perpetrators to the crime.

Only a tiny amount of DNA is necessary to mark items since, in its natural form, DNA is the most dense information carrier on earth—DNA’s encoding capacity is roughly equal to the memory power of 100 billion DVDs per gram. Unlike a computer or external hard drive, SigNature DNA is designed to last for thousands of years. Additionally, its mark can withstand at least 10 different authentications in its lifetime, meaning there is no need to re-mark an item once it’s already been done.

Said James A. Hayward, PhD, President and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences. “If we can also protect human lives by ensuring only authentic parts go into automobiles or other manufactured items, we’ve done our job.”

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