Inside the Forensic Lab That Fights Crime and Counterfeits With DNA

What you're looking at is me, being blasted by a fog machine. It's not a prop for a rave or a haunted house; it's vapor laced with custom DNA particles that could prove I was at the scene of a crime. And it's just one way a cutting-edge security firm is using life's building blocks to detect counterfeits and bust… » 9/26/14 1:26pm 9/26/14 1:26pm

Switzerland Puts Secret Bacteria in Cheese to Catch Knockoffs

In parts of Europe, where cheese is taken seriously as a source of national pride, entire labs are devoted to spotting knockoff Emmental and Gruyere. Switzerland has what may be the most impressive strategy yet: secret cocktails of bacteria, sent only to licensed cheesemakers, that work as living biological tracers. » 8/28/14 3:46pm 8/28/14 3:46pm

Your Breath Reveals a Hidden Image On These Anti-Counterfeiting Labels

The war on counterfeit products is fought using highly detailed printing, watermarks, and even holograms on packaging, but the latest weapon will also include your breath. Researchers at the University of Michigan and in South Korea have developed a thin film featuring invisible images and features only revealed when… » 8/06/14 5:00am 8/06/14 5:00am

4 Totally Fake Currencies That Changed the Course of Real Wars

At the tail end of his time as Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, General David Petraeus commented that "money is my most important ammunition in this war." It was far from an original thought. In fact, you could argue that currency is the most important and least acknowledged wartime weapon. » 5/05/14 9:22am 5/05/14 9:22am

Science Finally Gives Us a Way to Authenticate Premium Chocolate

That fancy premium chocolate from Tanzania that you spent $10 on at Whole Foods last night might not be as fancy or premium as you think. Lower quality cacao is often mixed into even the best chocolate, which is precisely why scientists have now developed a method for authenticating the varietal purity and origin of… » 1/15/14 5:40pm 1/15/14 5:40pm

Watch the Master of Saddleback Leather Give a Lesson in Counterfeiting

If you're looking to get into the knockoff leather game, there could be pools of cold, hard cash in your future just waiting for you to go diving on in. All it takes is a little half-assery, a more-than-questionable moral compass, and the knowledge of where to actually cut those corners—which can be harder than it… » 1/13/14 4:00pm 1/13/14 4:00pm

An Idiot Counterfeiter Returned His Printer with a Sheet of Fake…

It's one of the oldest tricks in the book; if you can't earn money, why not make it? With your printer. Now that doesn't actually work. Making counterfeit cash is really hard. But that won't keep idiots from trying it, apparently. A Wisconsin man took it a step further though, by trying to return his copier/printer … » 3/10/13 7:10pm 3/10/13 7:10pm