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Strange Seas and Shores

November 24, 2006

Politically, sure, it’s been a nightmare. But sometimes I just love the 21st century.

Every issue of Science or Nature these days includes an article or two spelling out how some enzyme or bit of RNA expression machinery does its thing: clarifying how it hooks or snips or binds or stretches some other bit of the machinery, or perhaps just drafting a megamolecule’s shape precisely enough that some future article can suss out the ways that shape can bend and move.

This is what it looks like when biologists and 3-D graphics professionals put a big fat stack of those brain-numbing articles together with meticulous accuracy, a good sense of space and color, and loving care. These are the dances that are going on in every one of your cells, every minute. It’s a journey that puts that dear old chestnut Fantastic Voyage to shame.

Here the animation team describes how the 3 minute clip was created. And here is a summary of the plotline, from a biologist’s point of view.

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