Hiding Data in DNA

  • Boris Shimanovsky
  • Jessica Feng
  • Miodrag Potkonjak
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2578)


Just like disk or RAM, DNA and RNA can store vast amounts of information, and just like data stored in digital media, DNA data can be easily copied or tampered with. However, unlike in the digital realm, there are no techniques for watermarking, annotating, or encrypting information in DNA and RNA. The ability to catalogue genes, place checksums, watermark, and otherwise protect intellectual property in such a medium is of profound importance. This paper proposes the original idea of hiding data in DNA and RNA. Moreover, it defines two new and original techniques for hiding the data. The first is a simple technique that hides data in non-coding DNA such as non- transcribed and non-translated regions as well as non-genetic DNA such as DNA computing solutions. The second technique can be used to place data in active coding segments without changing the resulting amino acid sequence. Combining codon redundancy with arithmetic encoding and public key cryptography, this robust technique can be used simultaneously for encryption and authentication. Protecting genetic discoveries, gene therapy drugs, and a great deal of other intellectual property in medicine, genetics, molecular biology, and even DNA computing, could be made possible by the techniques presented in this paper.


Intellectual Property Binary Sequence Hiding Data Arithmetic Code Data Hiding Scheme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boris Shimanovsky
    • 1
  • Jessica Feng
    • 2
  • Miodrag Potkonjak
    • 2
  1. 1.XAP CorporationUSA
  2. 2.Dept. Computer ScienceUniv. of CaliforniaLos Angeles

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