Scientists have captured the most detailed image of a single molecule of human DNA

A team of scientists was able to capture images of the highest resolution of the individual DNA molecules which shows atoms dancing as they move.

This miraculous feat was achieved by researchers from the University of Sheffield, Leeds and York.


Alice Payne et al. University of Sheffield / University of Leeds

This is according to a study by Nature Communications. They combined advanced atomic microscopy with supercomputer simulations to create these dance videos DNA molecules.

The recording is revolutionary because it shows in unprecedented detail how DNA is under stress or strain when pushed into cells that can change its shape.. At first, scientists could only see DNA using a microscope – and only static images. But with the video he brings new discoveries, offering a better understanding of atomic motion.

The images are detailed to the point that you can even see the double helix structure of DNA. However, the researchers were able to combine this with each atom in the DNA with the help of simulations.

To put things in perspective, the human body has about two meters of DNA in it. However, in order to fit through the body, it creates curves and curves. This indicates that loop DNA is present everywhere in the genome. The researchers looked for DNA mini-circles that indicate the connection of both ends, which results in the creation of a loop.

This loop enabled the researchers to provide an additional twist to the DNA of the minicircles, making them move more strongly. The researchers saw that the DNA, when it was in a relaxed state, did not move as much. By twisting it, however, he became more active, adopting various forms.

These dance movements are basically key to finding binding partners for DNA, because by adopting a wider range of shapes, it allows a larger number of other molecules to find it attractive.

Such a detailed study of DNA could help develop new gene therapies with the help of twisted and compact DNA circuits that can easily enter cells.

bottom high resolution images
Alice Payne et al. University of Sheffield / University of Leeds

Dr Alice Pyne, a lecturer in polymers and soft materials at the University of Sheffield, who recorded the footage, explained: “Seeing it is believable, but with something as small as DNA, seeing the helical structure of an entire DNA molecule was extremely challenging. The videos we have developed allow us to observe the twisting of DNA at a level of detail we have never seen before. “

Professor Lynn Zechiedrich of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who was also part of the discovery team, added: “The remarkable details show how wrinkled, bubbly, curved, denatured and unusually shaped they are, which we hope would days could control. “

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