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Spectacular Video on Molecular Machines and Cell Replication

Casey Luskin
Image source: Veritasium on YouTube (screenshot).

Back in June I published a critique of a video posted on the popular YouTube science channel Veritasium that had overstated the evolutionary findings of the Long Term Evolution Experiment. But I don’t like being negative, and so I’m very happy to be able to report on a wonderful video from Veritasium on molecular machines:

It’s an older video, from 2017, but it’s so good that it’s worth highlighting here. The animation has a fantastic sequence explaining DNA replication, showing how the helicase separates the two DNA strands for replication, and how DNA is wrapped around histone complexes and bundled with chromatin so it can all be packed into the nucleus of your cell as chromosomes.

There are also incredible animations of cell replication, showing how microtubules connect to chromatids at the kinetochore, which then pull the sister chromatids apart into the newly dividing daughter cells during replication. It’s all controlled by a complex system of cell signaling. And there are other molecular machines as well, such as dynein machines walking along microtubules — tall enough to step right over kinesin molecules going in the opposite direction. 

The video gives a nice visual window into the operation of molecular machines that are fundamental to cell replication. Of course Veritasium doesn’t frame it this way, but this complex system of carefully coordinated machines cannot help but testify powerfully to intelligent design.