• Encrypting with DNA Janet Page• The Coding Dylan Goodrich• The Chemistry Spenser Davis• Biological Computing John Madrigal• From Hidden Messages to Memories HyakBarseghyan• Amplified Natural Intelligence Miriam Barseghyan• The Ethics Kelsey Knox
ConceptWe were inspired by Alan Turing’s coding and decoding work he did for the military. We have developed an idea to create a code out of human DNA, insert that DNA into a cell and then insert the cell into a individual, creating a secure way to transfer information. The message is doubly protected by its encryption and then by its ability to be indistinguishable from the individual’s normal cells. We are using Nucleotide Cryptology to send hidden messages.
In the spirit of Alan Turing, we would like to offer a new method in which to encode messages. Unlike other codes, our code will be biological, and will be encrypted in DNA itself. Our method involves encoding a message using some sort of encryption with nucleotide sequences and implanting this sequence into the body of the messenger. The receiving end will know where to look for this particular message.
How can we convert English into nucleotide sequences? Easiest method is a simple cipher: each English letter corresponds to a sequence of four nucleotides Instead, we would like to use a cipher loosely based on a Vigenère Cipher, which would use 4 different conversions which switch off with every letter.
Layers of ProtectionCode Existence– Awareness of the code is likely to take a while due to the novelty of the ideaIdentifying “carriers”– Will be difficult to determine who has the code on their person. Could pretend to give people code so they do not know whether or not they have it. Reduces likelihood of betrayal or accidents
Layers of ProtectionLocation on the body– Will be difficult to isolate location of the injected cell colony. Could pretend to inject a carrier multiple times to prevent them from giving away relative location.Primer sequence– As discussed before the primer sequence is needed to isolate the area of DNA that contains the message. Can be made highly variable and complex
Human ProtectionTumor Prevention– Potential DNA code sequences will need to be tested to make sure that it does not induce uncontrolled proliferation within the carrier, thus putting him at risk.– DNA still needs to be able to allow for moderate cell replication to ensure safety of the cells containing the code
Human Protection“Self Destruct”– Carrier cells will need to be highly sensitive to biological changes. If a person carrying a code dies then the cells with the code must be destroyed to prevent a prolonged search for them– If the enemy knows this then this will prevent them from killing carriers. Abuse or malnourishment may also stress the cells into dying, preventing these tactics against the carriers as well.
The Chemistry Behind Nucleotide Cryptology• Before the injection of code, the data must be implemented into the genetic code of the messenger/storage person. DNA is extracted through a blood sample and an appropriate locus is determined for code insertion. It is important to choose a locus that does not code for any vital proteins, etc. Once chosen, the code will be inserted via PCR based site- directed mutagenesis (picture shown below).
The Chemistry Behind Nucleotide Cryptology• The basic procedure requires the synthesis of a short DNA primer. This synthetic primer contains the desired mutation and is complementary to the template DNA around the mutation site so it can hybridize with the DNA in the gene of interest. The mutation may be a single base change (a point mutation), multiple base changes, deletion or insertion. The single-stranded primer is then extended using a DNA Polymerase, which copies the rest of the gene. The gene thus copied contains the mutated site, and is then introduced into a host cell as a vector and cloned. Finally, mutants are selected.
The Chemistry Behind Nucleotide Cryptology• The original method using single-primer extension is inefficient due to a lower yield of mutants. The resulting mixture may contain both the original unmutated template as well as the mutant strand, producing a mix population of mutant and non-mutant progenies. The mutants may also be counter-selected due to presence of mismatch repair system which favors the methylated template DNA. Many approaches have since been developed to improve the efficiency of mutagenesis. The mutagenesis therefore would involve two sets of mutated primers flanking the desired region. And the selection method we could employ would be to include a simple antibiotic resistance gene in our mutation, then screen and select for mutants by plating on antibiotic+ plates and selecting surviving plaques. The DNA selected from the plaques would then be injected into the code carrier person.
The Chemistry Behind Nucleotide Cryptology• The code decrypter would need to know the relative location of the cells in the body for extraction. Death will causes cell mitosis to fail and will thus ensure safe code delivery. Upon extraction of the code, the decrypter also needs to know either the primer sequence or the locus of interest to amplify via PCR then discover the sequence using gene probing microarrays. The way this works is as follows: pretend my code is AGTCGTC. This will only adhere to its complement TCAGCAG (lets ignore sticky ends and partial adherence for now). Microarray wells will contain randomized gene sequences such as: AGCTAGCA, AGTCTCGA, GCTAGCT, etc. However, only the true complement will bind to the coded sequence. It is in this way that the decrypter can uncover the true code. With a decryption key (cipher) already predetermined, the decrypter can decipher the message.
Moore’s Law • Technological trend where the amount of transistors doubles every 18 months • Experts believe that we are nearing a plateau and eventual block of continuing this trend
DNA Computing• the use of DNA instead of silicon chips to solve complex mathematical problems• Research has been done to find a way to move past current computer technology for the future – Bacteria computer solves Hamiltonian Path Problem
From Hidden Messages toMemories: Alternative uses for Nucleotide Cryptology By: HyakBarseghyan
Memories Stored In DNAThe human brain has the ability to store andtransmit memories using images. There is aspecialized area in the brain called theHippocampus that is involved in the storage andgeneration of memories. The way memories arestored is still not quite understood. However, it isspeculated that visual or any other stimuli that aperson perceives is accompanied by the productionof proteins in the brain that are involved ingeneration of new neuronal connections.
It is possible to design a gene by geneticengineering and insert it into human cells usingballistics. A special air pressurized gun will shootmillions of copies of the desired gene into cells.Some of the engineered sequence will incorporateinto the cells genome. The inserted recombinantDNA in the cells will be transcribed and translatedinto a protein which will later be carried out fromthe cell into the bloodstream and taken into thebrain, and will become involved in memorygeneration and retrieval.
Depending on the design of the gene and itsproduct the person will see different imagesappear in his/her imagination, starting fromknown pieces of art to any other customgenerated memories. This technology will becrucial in using human genetic programming ininformation storage. Retrieval of the informationcan be performed using any human subjectsince the mechanism is the same from person toperson.
Amplified Natural Intelligence: More Applications for Biological Coding By: Miriam Barseghyan
• In our modern society technological advances are not shocking anymore. It is expected for various electronics to be further developed in order to achieve better device capabilities. However, while on the path creating Artificial Intelligence, we tend to neglect our own intellectual development.
• Behavioral modifications, particularly education, do tend to improve the level of human intelligence. However, this process is slow and requires constant work. As the new generations of computers that come out with improved functionality, it would be possible to create human beings with improved analytical and logical power.
• In the core of the model of creation of humans with Amplified Natural Intelligence (ANI) lies the concept of decoding a given code (by Alan Turing) and those of physiology and molecular biology. To achieve the proposed goal Human Genetic Engineering (HGE) is necessary. Genes need to be modified at an embryonic level in order to produce functional cells postnatally. Retroviral transfecton would be the core technique utilized in procedure. Through this technique, extra genes coding for Nerve Growth Factors (NGF) and molecules guiding axonal patterning, such as molecules from the Ephrinfamily, as well as genetic information coding for molecules that increase neuronal synaptic connectivity will be inserted into the embryonic genome during the early stages of embryonic development.
• The inserted code will be decoded by the natural mechanisms of the organism to produce exogenous molecules. These molecules will further amplify the effects of the endogenous molecules involved in nervous system development. Thus, neurogenesis along with axonal and synaptic efficient patterning will contribute to creation of ANI.
“Genethics”: the idea that problems for humanity and the worldposed by the new genetic technology are novel and consequently a new kindof ethics is needed (1)As our project deals with inserting modified DNA into a human cell, and then putting that cell back in a human, ethical issues surrounding gene technologies are a major consideration. 1. http://bioinformatics.istge.it/bcd /ForAll/Ethics/welcome.html 2. Photo via http://thetechnologicalcitizen.co m/?p=1022
Potential “genethical” issues• “playing god”• Unsure consequences• Informed consent• Ownership of genetic code• Objectification/devaluat ion of the individual