I3T Kolkata hosted a seminar on “That’s My DNA: Digital Signatures to Ensure Authenticity and Integrity of Synthetic DNA Molecules” on August 2, 2021, presented by speaker Dr. Indrajit Ray of Department of Computer Science, Colorado State University.
The seminar was chaired by Prof. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice Chancellor, Sister Nivedita University and was graced by the presence of many scientific and medical fraternity both in online (Zoom) and offline platforms. Prof. Benubrata Das from Indian Association for Cultivation of Science (IACS), Prof. Utpal Kumar Datta, former Professor of IPGMER and currently associated with KPC Medical College and Hospital and also the Chairperson of Medical Advisory Board of I3TK were present. The event also had presence of other medical and scientific members like Dr. Dipankar Ray, Opthalmologist and Dr. Rama Ranjan Bhattacharjee, faculty from Amity University Kolkata. Dr. Virander Chauhan, Arturo Falaschi Fellow at ICGEB and Chairman of Research Advisory Board at I3T also were present at the session through Zoom.
The seminar showed different aspects of computation in biological domain and also highlighted that in the evolving world of bio-computation, considerable interest has peaked in the use of synthetic DNA molecules not only as building blocks for novel biological entities (such as novel bio-chemicals or in cutting edge gene therapy) but also as building blocks for personalized digital signature to ensure advanced security in future (DNA molecule as stored data, DNA logic circuits or even DNA as carrier of malware). The talk focuses on efforts taken by the group at Colorado State University to physically embed digital signatures in DNA molecules synthesized in the laboratory and the uniqueness as well as the challenges faced for the same.
It was indeed an interactive session with both the worldly views of biology and computation merging at our doorstep.