News & Events

For Immediate Release

Bookmark & Share
Contact: John Sterling, 914-740-2196,
GEN Launches Another Tantalizing Cryptogram Challenge

New Rochelle, NY, January 18, 2010—Ever imagined what it would be like to be a military decoder? GEN’s ( latest contest will definitely grip your imagination. Along with our partner Scintellix, LLC ( and sponsor Life Technologies Corporation ( ), we are proud to present the fourth contest in our series of online cipher-based puzzles, Cryptogram Challenge: RNAi. The first person to solve it will win $1,500 a benchtop device from Invitrogen, part of Life Technologies. The first 150 registrants will receive a free T-shirt ( depicting artwork from the challenge, so register now at:

GEN and Scintellix are coupling the art of cryptography, which was first leveraged in the military, with life science applications. Just as cellular arrays depict biological processes and require skill to interpret, cryptograms when deciphered reveal a hidden message. GEN’s Cryptogram Challenges use the colors displayed in arrays to encrypt text.

 “The response received during our last three contests made it clear to us that we had to keep running Cryptogram Challenges,” says Joan Boyce, Group Publisher of GEN . “This year we will have one contest per quarter. We kick the year off with the Cryptogram Challenge: RNAi as homage to the important role and varied applications of RNAi in biotechnology.”

This latest puzzle will not only engage your lab skills but also pique your interest. Peter C. Johnson, M.D., President and CEO of Scintellix, has encoded a message in an image that depicts siRNA’s control of gene expression. “I created Cryptogram Challenge: RNAi as a distinct departure from previous Cryptogram Challenges,” says Dr. Johnson. “It will require a different mindset to solve—mirroring some of the complexities in the application of RNAi technology itself."

As a leading supplier of synthetic siRNA and siRNA delivery technologies such as the Neon™ Transfection Device, Life Technologies anticipates that thousands of researchers from around the world  will sign up for the challenge to decipher the puzzle statement and win $1,500 and one of these benchtop instruments from Invitrogen: the Countess™ Automated Cell Counter (, the Neon™ Transfection Device (, the iBlot® Dry Blotting System (, the BenchPro™ 4100 Western Processing Device (, or the Qubit™ Fluorometer (

Register now to start pitting your wits against our latest puzzle. Click here (( to see the free challenge T-shirt you will receive if you’re one of the first 150 people to register.

Here’s the first clue to help you out: A clue to the solution may be found on this page—

A new clue will be posted every Monday on the Cryptogram site to nudge you in the right direction. The contest will close once the cipher has been correctly decoded. The first person to reveal the message will be featured in a future issue of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.