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Scientists photograph DNA for first time

Posted on Sunday, 2 December, 2012 | Comment icon 21 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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Professor Enzo Di Fabrizio has taken photographs of DNA directly using an electron microscope.

While the double-corkscrew form of DNA has been observed indirectly using X-ray crystallography, this is the first time anyone has been able to take a picture of it directly. Professor Di Fabrizio and colleagues constructed a nanoscopic landscape of silicon pillars, then poured on a solution containing strands of DNA. The liquid evaporated, leaving the DNA strands stretched between the pillars like tiny tight-ropes.

To capture the image, beams of electrons were shone through holes in the silicon to produce high resolution photographs of the DNA molecules. The achievement provides new insight in to the nanoscopic world of DNA and makes it possible for us to set eyes upon it directly for the first time.

"Fifty-nine years after James Watson and Francis Crick deduced the double-helix structure of DNA, a scientist has captured the first direct photograph of the twisted ladder that props up life."

  View: Full article |  Source: MSNBC

  Discuss: View comments (21)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by ad hoc on 3 December, 2012, 3:43
wait, how is this the first time? I'm amazed that with all the work that has been done sequencing and studying genes in intricate detail that somehow no one ever took a few happy snaps with it. As electron microscope images of atomic structures go, I'm sure I've seen better... I'm guessing they couldn't really get the DNA into an ideal position. Or maybe all electron microscopes aren't created equal. I'm in the slightly disappointed camp, seeing as it's mostly just pixel noise... but er... well done chaps.
Comment icon #13 Posted by ufonuts on 3 December, 2012, 5:39
Wait a second... I photographed DNA years ago, well that is, if it stands for "Dirty Naked Allison" ?? Maybe Diseased Nude Aliens? Dog Nosed Adults? Dorky Nerdy Agrophobes? Demonic Nosy Angels? Dusty Nylon Apples? Dark Nutty Acorns? Disorder Nut Affliction?
Comment icon #14 Posted by ufonuts on 3 December, 2012, 5:40
Comment icon #15 Posted by Lava_Lady on 3 December, 2012, 5:54
That it's mind blowing to me...
Comment icon #16 Posted by King Fluffs on 3 December, 2012, 6:49
Comment icon #17 Posted by joc on 3 December, 2012, 6:56
What is disappointing to me is how many people honestly believe that the first ever photographs of something never even before seen should be crystal clear like on their HD TVs. Wow. Talk about being disconnected from reality.
Comment icon #18 Posted by smash87 on 3 December, 2012, 7:50
what will they do next a red laser pen thats beam tastes like strawberrys, a watch that can stretch with a oled flat screen that can be a belt,headband,hat,also checks the sweat for blood sugar for diabeties and even syncs to your iphone for hearbead+bp :) , or just something simple like a chewing gum that has your medicines all combined with the gum chew for 5 mins and your done no more swallowing pills and did i say it tastes like strawberrys :P
Comment icon #19 Posted by Chooky88 on 3 December, 2012, 13:57
Cool. It will only get better. Like many I hD no idea it hadn't been ohotographed before either!
Comment icon #20 Posted by burt_ie on 4 December, 2012, 13:08
This is amazing, I don't understand how people can be disappointed. To me this is totally fascinating.
Comment icon #21 Posted by aryannatimothy on 6 December, 2012, 12:30
Still amzes me..looks like "alien". Nice.

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