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Still Waters

First videos show the helix of 'dancing DNA'

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Still Waters

Videos allowing us to see for the first time how small circles of DNA adopt dance-like movements inside a cell have been developed by researchers at universities in Yorkshire.

The footage, developed by a team of scientists from the Universities of York, Sheffield and Leeds, are based on the highest resolution images of a single molecule of DNA ever captured. They show in unprecedented detail how the stresses and strains that are placed on DNA when it is crammed inside cells can change its shape.

Previously scientists were only able to see DNA by using microscopes that are limited to taking static images. But now the Yorkshire team has combined advanced atomic force microscopy with supercomputer simulations to create videos of twisted molecules of DNA.

The images are so detailed it is possible to see the iconic double helical structure of DNA, but when combined with the simulations, the researchers were able to see the position of every single atom in the DNA and how it twists and writhes.

https://phys.org/news/2021-02-visualization-dna.html

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