Spying with DNA

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Spying with DNA is now possible. American scientists have recently developed a way to use, the genetic code (DNA) as a spy code to transfer information secretly. How does it work? Since there are only four chemical letters in the DNA code, A (adenine), T(Thymine), G (guanine) and C (cytosine), and 26 letters in English so DNA letters are allocated for each English letter, e.g. AAA in DNA could represent Y in English. Using genetic engineering techniques the biotechnician strings together any sequence of DNA a respectable spy may want.

How does the spy transport the message in a form that can’t be read by the enemy, then read and decode the message when it reaches its destination? Transportation is fairly simple. DNA smeared onto paper will survive long enough to be transported to a place where it can be analysed. The message can be disguised by mixing it with strands of DNA obtained from any living cells. If it fell into wrong hands there would be no way of knowing which strand contains the message.

How does the spy find and read the correct message? According to an experiment described in Nature, Vol. 399, p533 the Biotechnician puts “tags” on each end of the message strand. Tags are DNA sequences that the spymaster knows (and the enemy does not). When the DNA smear is delivered the Biotechnician uses a technique that makes copies only of the tagged DNA. The message will be copied and recopied until there is enough to clearly identify it from any DNA used to disguise the message.

Editorial Comment: Encrypting and decoding information has always been a job for very clever people. In wartime the best brains in the country are recruited to develop codes and ciphers and to crack the enemy’s codes. No code used by any spy agency ever developed itself naturally or by chance random processes. It took intelligent scientists to decode the DNA in living cells, and similarly clever scientist to work out how it could be used to transfer information for spies. The more scientists learn about DNA the more they confirm DNA was invented by the ultimate intelligent cryptographer the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ref. DNA, Coding, Spy)

q_and_a2
crc_youtube
outdoor_museum_panel
free_audio2