Genomes are "brought to life" by being read out or "expressed" according to a complex set of directions embedded in the DNA sequence. The products of expression are proteins that do essentially all the work of the cell: they build cellular structures, digest nutrients, execute other metabolic functions, and mediate much of the information flow within a cell and among cellular communities. To accomplish these tasks, proteins typically work together with other proteins or nucleic acids as multicomponent "molecular machines" -- structures that fit together and function in highly specific, lock-and-key ways.
Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. science.energy.gov/ber/
Genomes to Life Program Roadmap, April 2001, DOE/SC-0036, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. (website)