The DNA Replication Complex, an assembly of proteins that synthesizes new DNA before cell division.  It consists of Helicase, Primase, Single-strand binding proteins, and DNA polymerase III.  Because DNA strands can only be copied in one direction, the complex must pull out loops of one strand and replicate it in fragments.  At this moment there are hundreds of trillions of these molecular machines in constant activity within your body.

Video Credit: Drew Barry

Harvard Researchers Turn Book Into DNA Code

In the latest effort to contend with exploding quantities of digital data, researchers encoded an entire book into the genetic molecules of DNA, the basic building block of life, and then accurately read back the text.

The experiment, reported Thursday in the journal Science, may point a way toward eventual data-storage devices with vastly more capacity for their size than today’s computer chips and drives.

"A device the size of your thumb could store as much information as the whole Internet," said Harvard University molecular geneticist George Church, the project’s senior researcher.

In their work, the group translated the English text of a coming book on genomic engineering into actual DNA.

Synthetic Life (via ScienceChannel)

Creating Synthetic Life: Manmade DNA premieres June 3 at 8 PM on Science Channel.

World-renowned scientist Dr. J. Craig Venter announced on May 20 that he and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) became the first in history to synthetically create a living, self-replicating cell. The news holds groundbreaking potential for solutions to a host of global challenges, including generating new food sources, pharmaceuticals and vaccines; cleaning up pollution; creating new energy sources; producing clean water; and more.

Science Channel is exclusively bringing viewers inside Dr. Venters pioneering quest to produce life synthetically in CREATING SYNTHETIC LIFE.

Over the course of five years, only Science Channel cameras captured the failures, successes and breakthrough moments of Dr. Venter, Nobel Laureate Hamilton Smith, Dr. Clyde Hutchison and JCVI researchers as they meticulously sought to create a synthetic single-celled organism.

Our friends at Compass Light Productions are making a splash on the Science Channel with tonight’s world premier of “Creating Synthetic Life”.

Craig Venter will be answering questions following the film. Ask away.