Dr. Peter C. Johnson has created a cipher painting that contains a hidden message and an accompanying $1500 prize to the first person to decode it. The organizers say that the “image requires not only skill and scientific experience to decode so as to determine its cryptic message, but also a strong appreciation for biological studies.”
From the contest website:
MicroArray depicts the highly colorful readout of a gene-expression microarray that measures the presence and quantity of gene-specific mRNA in tissue fluids. To this extent, a microarray is an instrument that decodes the applied design of physical development at any point in time. By knowing which genes are turned on and off as a function of physical state, knowledge can be teased from the unknown regarding the causes of diseases, aging, and the like, thus solving the ‘cryptogram of life.’
The science of cryptography and the jealousy with which Nature guards information have much in common. In cryptography, messages are hidden within sources of information using encoding of multiple types. Though a developed microarray has beauty, it is also a cryptic form of information that requires skill in interpretation. MicroArray was created to convey both the beauty of the microarray and the power of its retained information by encoding within it a powerful message using cryptographic techniques. Unlocking the code in MicroArray will reveal a powerful message that bears on the mystery of life itself.
This isn’t just any picture of a microarray — it’s a cryptogram with a $1,500 message.
GEN along with partner, Scintellix, and sponsor, Agilent, bring you the Microarray Challenge. Crack the code, and you can win big.
Peter C. Johnson, M.D., president and CEO of Scintellix, created this painting called ‘MicroArray.’ He has embedded a cipher based on the dots in the pastel. Pit your skills against this cryptogram and decipher what’s turning on these ‘genes.’
The first to unravel the hidden message will win $1,500. The first 50 registrants will receive a MicroArray copy poster and a poster tube.
Every Monday, starting from November 17, a clue will be provided to put you on the right track. You can check this website for clues as they come in.
You have until December 31 to prove that you are a master code breaker. Feel free to give the Microarray Challenge a shot as many times as you like up to once a day. All entries will be considered.