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For the record

  • Who: Genome produced by the J Craig Venter Institute

  • What: First synthetic genome to contain secret coded messages

  • Where: United States

The world’s first man-made bacterial genome, produced by the J Craig Venter Institute (USA) in 2008, contains five coded amino acid messages hidden in ‘watermarks’ in the genetic sequence. The following, which are references to the Venter Institute and a number of people who are closely associated with the synthetic genome - including Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith, John Glass and Clyde Hutchison - can be found within the genetic sequence: VENTERINSTITVTE [V used because there is no corresponding amino acid for the U] CRAIGVENTER HAMSMITH CINDIANDCLYDE GLASSANDCLYDE


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