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Engineered E.coli designed for secret communication

09-27-2011 16:10 BJT

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Scientists have developed a method of encrypting information into genetically-engineered E. coli bacteria to deliver secret messages.

The finding was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S.

By modifying the selected genes of E. coli, the scientists make the bacteria produce the fluorescent proteins, which can glow and express one of seven colors under ultraviolet light.

The color's controlled arranging creates a coding system that allow for the entire alphabet, the digits 1-9 and some other symbols.

And the containing messages cannot be detected until the recipient unlocks it by dipping the E. coli into a special bacteria-growing solution.

"Obviously, the secret agent kind of application jumps out," said the study's lead author David Walt of Tufts University in Massachusetts, "a way of sending secure messages, preventing counterfeiting and providing authentication."

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, according to the Bloomberg.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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