A Different Kind of Secret Code

[From
the article
: Researchers have invented a new form of secret messaging using
bacteria that make glowing proteins only under certain conditions. In addition
to being useful to spies, the new technique could also allow companies to
encode secret identifiers into crops, seeds, or other living commodities. The
new glowing bacteria actually did grow out of a bit of cloak-and-dagger
thinking. Several years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
asked researchers to submit ideas for ways to encode secret messages without
the need for electronics. At the time David Walt, a chemist at Tufts University
in Medford, Massachusetts, teamed up with his former adviser George Whitesides,
a chemist at Harvard University. Together, they came up with a way to add a
variety of metal salts to a fuse that, when lit, would give off a sequence of
pulses of infrared light that encoded a message. That got them thinking about
other ways to accomplish the same thing. And so last year they decided to try
something else, using bacteria to encode their secrets.]

A
Different Kind of Secret Code

by Robert
F. Service
on
26 September 2011

For the full story: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/09/a-different-kind-of-secret-code.html

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