The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, is an agency of the United States Department of Defense. It was established in 1958 with the mission of keeping US military technology more sophisticated than the nations potential enemies. DARPA's most recent quest is to design a genetic security system built into the genome that can monitor for and report on any modifications made to an organisms genetic makeup. They call it Chronicle of Lineage Indicative of Origins, or CLIO.
This digital spy technology will ultimately protect intellectual property. Although widely debated, patented microbes and genes are now bio commodities in the research world. If a researcher has managed to isolate a new gene from a microbe, it is theirs to profit from if they have it patented. No one can make, use, sell or study that gene, without their permission.
The difficulty of actually keeping track of who is violating the patent laws could be eliminated, utilizing a complex mathematical approach to build an electronic scribe into an organisms genes that will be able to spot misuse in a moment.
DARPA would also like CLIO to provide secure access to a select few, creating an encrypted password system for genes.
There is hardly any prototypes or precedents for this kind of technology and as the genomic revolution forges on, it doesn't seem unreasonable that one day our own genes will be password protected?