January 29, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Hidden Messages Found in DNA

DNA contains the language of life, but what would happen if someone found hidden messages in the genetic code?  Such a thing actually happened, reported the New York Times.  When Craig Venter’s lab produced an artificial organism, they inserted hidden “watermarks” into the genome: his name, the names of co-workers, and the name of the Venter Institute.
    Wired Science took up the puzzle and found the hidden messages.  The sequences of DNA translated into the letters for amino acids, which in turn spelled out English words.
    This was not the first genetic puzzle to be coded and deciphered.  The New York Times article said that in 2003, a German biotech company inserted a line from Virgil into the DNA for a laboratory plant.

No doubt Venter would be quite upset if children were taught in school that these messages evolved by random mutation and natural selection over millions of years. 

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