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DNA TESTING COMING TO THE MEMORABILIA MARKET?
Published January 23, 1995
In a way to prevent counterfeits of its celluloid images, the Hanna-Barbera Co. is "employing the very latest in biotechnology." After taking hair from 83-year-old co-founder Joseph Barbera, a process called polymerase is used to isolate a fragment of Barbera's DNA -- and then copy it a million times. The copies are mixed into a special ink used for Barbera's signature and a special seal which go on the numbered cels. A hand-held scanner can then read the genetically-encoded ink to verify the signature and authenticity of the product. Hanna- Barbera's partner in the project, Art Guard International, "has big plans" for the technology. While Art Guard President Charles Butland makes no specific mention of sports memorabilia, he says the process "could protect items ranging from paintings to coins to credit and I.D. cards" (BUSINESS WEEK, 1/30 issue).