Techknow: Things to come ... DNA INK

Techknow: Things to come ... DNA INK - In an age when CDs can be copied on domestic equipment and the office Xerox machine can produce a fair copy of a pounds 10 note, forgery is booming.

by JAMES WOUDHUYSEN
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

In an age when CDs can be copied on domestic equipment and the office Xerox machine can produce a fair copy of a pounds 10 note, forgery is booming.

But help is at hand. Los Angeles biotech start-up DNA Technologies has developed a product that uses an individual's gene profile to produce a unique security marker. From a sample of hair or saliva, the company extracts up to 40 of the matched pairs of amino acids that comprise our genetic code - enough to distinguish your DNA from anyone else's.

It then reproduces these combinations in the form of an expensive (dollars 3,000 a kilo) black ink that is detectable by special scanners. Further optical encoding makes the ink forgery-proof, and it can be used to tag almost anything at risk from fakery.

The company has done a deal with ID Technica, Tokyo, to make ink and ink readers, and the technology has been enlisted by the Olympics organisers to weed out dodgy tickets and merchandise.

james.woudhuysen@seymourpowell.co.uk.

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