DNA TESTING COMING TO THE MEMORABILIA MARKET?
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).