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The Emerging Science of Dna Cryptography


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The massively parallel nature of DNA computing represents a significant threat to existing encryption schemes, but the technology also could be used to encrypt and secure data. Researchers have suggested using the sequence of nucleotides in DNA for encryption, while others recommend burying the data in DNA to hide it. Independent researcher Nang King has proposed an approach based on how information from DNA is processed inside cells, which works in two stages called transcription and translation.

In transcription, a DNA segment is converted into messenger RNA (mRNA), which leaves the nucleus and enters the body of a cell. In translation, ribosomes read the information carried by mRNA and assemble amino acids into protein chains. Nang proposes that a sender encode its message into the original DNA sequence and allow that message to be transcribed and translated, creating a protein that acts as a public key that can be sent to the receiver. Meanwhile, the sender sends a secret key that consists of the information needed to reassemble the DNA, like the location of the noncoding regions that need to be reinserted. Nang says this cryptography should be secure against several powerful attacks, though he acknowledges that the encryption becomes increasingly difficult when more complex keys are used.

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