[Resource Topic] 2021/1066: Taphonomical Security: (DNA) Information with Foreseeable Lifespan

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Taphonomical Security: (DNA) Information with Foreseeable Lifespan

Authors: Fatima-Ezzahra El Orche, Marcel Hollenstein, Sarah Houdaigoui, David Naccache, Daria Pchelina, Peter B. Roenne, Peter Y. A. Ryan, Julien Weibel, Robert Weil


This paper introduces the concept of information with a foreseeable lifespan and explains who to achieve this primitive via a new method for encoding and storing information in DNA-RNA sequences. The storage process can be divided into three time-frames. Within the first (life), we can easily read out the stored data with high probability. The second time-frame (agony) is a parameter-dependent state of uncertainty; the data is not easily accessible, but still cannot be guaranteed to be inaccessible. During the third (death), the data can with high probability not be recovered without a large computational effort which can be controlled via a security parameter. The quality of such a system, in terms of a foreseeable lifespan, depends on the brevity of the agony time-frame, and we show how to optimise this. In the present paper, we analyse the use of synthetic DNA and RNA as a storage medium since it is a suitable information carrier and we can manipulate the RNA nucleotide degradation rate to help control the lifespan of the message embedded in the synthesized DNA/RNA molecules. Other media such as Bisphenol A thermal fax paper or unstable nonvolatile memory technologies can be used to implement the same principle but the decay models of each of those phenomena should be re-analysed and the formulae given in this paper adapted correspondingly.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2021/1066

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