DNA games: From computing to espionage

A Public Seminar, "DNA Games: From Computing to Espionage" will be held in Grace Auditorium at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Monday, June 26 at 7:00 PM. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For information and to make reservations, call 516-367-8455. Teenagers and adults alike are encouraged to attend. A reception will follow the seminar.


Viviana Risca, student at Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School in Port Washington, New York and winner of this year's national Intel Science Talent Search. Viviana will speak about how she and her colleagues encoded the secret message, "June 6 invasion: Normandy" in a piece of synthetic DNA, hid this message in a vast excess of human DNA on a microdot, and successfully retrieved the secret message from letters posted in the U.S. mail. Viviana's mentor was Dr. Carter Bancroft of Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Laura F. Landweber, Assistant Professor, Princeton University. In addition to her studies of molecular evolution and the origin of our natural genetic code, Dr. Landweber is a pioneer in a field known colloquially as DNA computing. She will speak about how one can harness the information bearing capacity of DNA and other nucleic acids to compute; for example, creating and using a code in RNA to solve mathematical problems from chess. Molecular computing of this kind has the potential to outperform electronic computers by using a billion times less energy while storing data in one trillion times less space.

Introduction by James D. Watson, President, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Watson received the Nobel Prize in 1962 for his discovery, with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, of the double helical structure of DNA.


Contact: Peter W. Sherwood, Ph.D.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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