Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Biotech The Military Crime Piracy Technology

DoD Using Plant DNA To Combat Counterfeit Parts 39

smitty777 writes "Highlighting another unique way to use cutting edge DNA technology, the U.S. Department of Defense has a new weapon in its efforts to combat counterfeit parts: plant DNA. This article at Wired discusses how plant DNA can be used to make an almost unique code (1 in 1 trillion) for parts identification. A graphic shows some of the ways this could be done: bolts with DNA-marked coating, invisible bar codes, and fluorescing inks are some of the possible applications. In a similar but unrelated project, World Micro has a different solution to detect counterfeit items in the military that have been 'blacktopped,' where items have been re-surfaced to allow remarking."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DoD Using Plant DNA To Combat Counterfeit Parts

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    One place I worked had a number of "counterfeit" bolts that did not meet spec. Bolts use a pattern on the top to identify the manufacturer and in this case the they were not made by the company whose symbols they bore. They had to be pulled and replaced with higher quality bolts which could deal with the necessary stresses.

  • Old hat (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Caerdwyn ( 829058 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:02PM (#38768872) Journal

    Joe Barbera (animation producer/director, half of the Hanna-Barbera team) a long while back had a pen with ink with his own DNA embedded in it made; it's his "autograph" pen [].

    Old news from someone smarter than the a-ver-age bear...

  • Isn't now child's play to replicate DNA and put it where you wish (also coming soon to corrupt cops near you)? They may even be qualitfied vendors, but rubber stamping a component doesn't mean the innards are what they should be (including ghost circuitry lovingly crafted by PRC military hackers).
  • 1) Buy one good part
    2) Buy one PCR machine
    3) Buy a bazillion counterfeit parts
    4) apply PCR'ed DNA to counterfeit parts
    5) Profit!
  • by cowboy76Spain ( 815442 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @08:03PM (#38769672)

    I think another measure stated in TFA will be more efficient: now the contractors will be responsible if they introduce counterfeit parts (even unknowingly) and will not be able to charge the DoD for replacing them. That will ensure that they control quality better (by whatever technical means they chose), probably forcing the same clause on their providers.

  • by Mister Transistor ( 259842 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @08:08PM (#38769722) Journal

    It's interesting that the idea of using plants for counterfeit detection goes all the way back to Benjamin Franklin, who used the unique vein structures of plant and tree leaves to make hard-to-copy stamps and currency all the way back in the Revolutionary War days!

  • can stop outsourcing jobs to a country it simultaneously funds and villifies.

    pick one or the other guys, because inevitably we either need to face up to the fact that if they are the villain then we've tacidly admitted free trade has failed. if theyre the trading partner, we've tadicly admitted we dont seriously care about liberty or freedom.
  • The strategy used to keep money flowing into the US and now apparently is part of the US DoD now is:
    1) Create a standard(s) that is proprietary and somehow ensure that the standard is scarce (that is where the money comes from) so that no one else knows how to create interoperable parts.
    2) Create a patent system so that someone else with a different standard, but with the same functionality will not be able to create the same functionality in their products.
    How this affects me: Suppose I wanted to crea
  • What if you don't care that you are purchasing a counterfeit or stolen legit component?

    • What if you don't care that you are purchasing a counterfeit or stolen legit component?

      Because the problem is that the counterfeit part is often of a lower quality or spec. You would probably care if that 2.8GHz QuadCore cpu you just bought was really a remarked 2.2HGz chip.

      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

        No, that means you do care which was the opposite of what i said.

        Some people really don't care if its counterfeited and understand it wont be the same as 'real' since its FAR cheaper.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun