by Danica Lo
Getty Images Science and fashion don't always go hand in hand, but sometimes it takes a little bit of lab work to solve a longstanding style problem. Like at Cornell University, where researchers are devoting their energies to solving the age-old knockoff problem--as in trying to find a way to detect counterfeit designer handbags.
See more: 11 Dating Don'ts You Should Stop Doing Now
Which brands are the scientists working for? Well, think of all the fake bags you see everywhere--perhaps Louis Vuitton, Prada, Kate Spade, or Coach? "You know which brands you see on Canal Street," Carlos Rinaldi, Ph.D., explained to a reporter from Popular Science.
The team at Cornell, which is headed up by textile scientist Juan Hinestroza--is working on a "sub-visual" technique where the individual fibers in handbags are coated with a brand's signature something-or-other--something invisible to the human eye and completely intangible to the average consumer, but a signifier that can be detected or scanned to prove authenticity.
See more: The Best Celeb Haircut for Your Texture
"You can make signatures by coating individual cotton fibers, like a bar code," says Ken Kuno, Ph.D., from Notre Dame, who's part of the team. Once developed, this technology can also be used for other purposes--even by government, say, in money.
What do you think about these new ways of fighting fakes? Have you ever accidentally bought a fake designer product? Tell us in the comments, below!