Those who watch crime shows know that modern criminologists often use DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid, to solve crimes by identifying victims and suspects while ruling out the innocent. Though the genetic code for all human beings is 99.9 percent identical, no one has the exact same DNA except identical twins. Thus, DNA is also used to prove or disprove family relationships, identify missing persons, and identify the victims of catastrophes. Using DNA, modern medicine has made advances in identifying and even curing certain diseases.
What some may not know is that humans are not the only ones with DNA. It exists in all living things such as plants, trees and animals. Food scientists use DNA information in plants to improve crops and develop new foods. Now a highly innovative company, Applied DNA Sciences has harnessed the DNA in plants to develop patent-protected DNA security solutions. Their increasingly sought after botanical DNA-based security and authentication solutions protect products, brands and intellectual property from counterfeiting and diversion in the United States and Europe.
The company embeds their SigNature DNA markers into a range of products, including various inks, dyes, textile treatments, thermal ribbon, thread, varnishes and adhesives in order to provide a forensic chain of evidence. Their SmartDNA, a patented security system, is designed for stores, warehouses, banks, pharmacies, ATMs and the protection of valuables; and DNANet tactical DNA products for law enforcement in the form of DNA marked sprays and liquids. Applied DNA Sciences uncopyable DNA technology not only enhances inspection, but goes much further to forensically verify originality, using botanical DNA to create tags that mark the product for authentication.
Applied DNA Sciences efforts have come at a time when counterfeiting has become a multibillion-dollar and public safety issue across multiple industries, from the military to electronics, textiles, documents, packaging and computer chips.
In early August 2013, the company announced that its SigNature DNA mark had been used to protect nearly 500,000 electronics parts in the combined outcome of its pilots and contracts, an effort driven by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency DLA against the infiltration of counterfeit electronic parts. By early August, seventeen companies were actively marking microcircuits with SigNature DNA, a requirement set out by DLA for companies providing a class of microcircuits to the agency. Overall, 51 companies were signed or in various stages of negotiation in August.