DNA computing


As modern encryption algorithms are broken, the world of information security looks in new directions to protect the data it transmits. 

Main Article:

Introduction to DNA and DNA Computing in Security Practices – Is the Future in Our Genes?

        The world of encryption appears to be ever shrinking.  Several years ago the thought of a 56-bit encryption technology seemed forever safe, but as mankinds’ collective computing power and knowledge increases, the safety of the world’s encryption methods seems to disappear equally as fast. Mathematicians and physicists attempt to improve on encryption methods while staying within the confines of the technologies available to us.   Existing encryption algorithms such as RSA have not yet been compromised but many fear the day may come when even this bastion of encryption will fall. There is hope for new encryption algorithms on the horizon utilizing mathematical principles such as Quantum Theory however the science of our very genetic makeup is also showing promise for the information security world.   

         The concepts of utilizing DNA computing in the field of data encryption and DNA authentication methods for thwarting the counterfeiting industry are subjects that have been surfacing in the media of late.  How realistic are these concepts and is it feasible to see these technologies changing the security marketplace of today?

What is DNA?

          Within the cells of any organism is a substance called Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) which is a double-stranded helix of nucleotides which carries the genetic information of a cell. This information is the code used within cells to form proteins and is the building block upon which life is formed. 

       Strands of DNA are long polymers of millions of linked nucleotides.  These nucleotides consist of one of four nitrogen bases, a five carbon sugar and a phosphate group.The nucleotides that make up these polymers are named after the nitrogen base that it consists of; Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G) and Thymine (T).  These nucleotides will only combine in such a way that C always pairs with G and T always pairs with A.


       ‘DNA-based Cryptography’ which puts an argument forward that the high level computational ability and incredibly compact information storage media of DNA computing has the possibility of DNA based cryptography based on one time pads.  They argue that current practical applications of cryptographic systems based on one-time pads is limited to the confines of conventional electronic media whereas as small amount of DNA can suffice for a huge one time pad for use in public key infrastructure (PKI).


        The field of DNA computing is still in its infancy and the applications for this technology are still not fully understood. Is DNA computing viable – perhaps, but the obstacles that face the field such as the extrapolation and practical computational environments

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Author:  admin
Posted On:  Friday, 12 October, 2012 - 13:32

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