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Joyce scientic american december 1992 julius rebek jr

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Unformatted text preview: places. For example, Gerald F. Joyce of Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., “breeds” trillions of RNA molecules, generation after generation, until “champion” molecules evolve that have the catalytic properties he seeks [see “Directed Molecular Evolution,” by Gerald F. Joyce; Scientific American, December 1992]. Julius Rebek, Jr., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology creates molecules that can reproduce—informing us about how life on the earth may have arisen [see “Synthetic Self-Replicating Molecules,” by Julius Rebek, Jr.; Scientific American, July 1994]. Stimulated by research on DNA computation, Erik Winfree of the California Institute of Technology synthesizes “intelligent” molecular complexes that can be “programmed” to assemble themselves into predetermined structures of arbitrary complexity. There are many other examples. It is the enormous potential of this new area that we should focus on and nurture. For me, it is enough just to know that computation with DNA is possible. In the past half...
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