DNA Cryptography

Diagram showing how DNA cryptography can work

For those folks that saw the Biomolecular Cryptology talk at This article in Technology Review talks about how DNA can be used to also encode data.  This approach leverages some deep properties of DNA biology, transcription and translation to enable a “public key” approach in which proteins (or their virtual equivalent) can be exchanged as a kind of public key, allowing the decoding of the underlying data encoded in DNA.  It is an interesting compliment to the so-called DNA stegnography, in which messages are encoded directly in the DNA bases, in something like a Caesar Cipher.

The paper appears to have some weaknesses in the cryptography, but I am nowhere near expert enough to be an effective judge- I wish that the paper has better references.  Perhaps some of our HacDC cryptography experts would be interested in giving it a go!

The details can be found in the paper here on arxiv.