This is how DNA “dances”: the higher resolution photographs that have been taken allow us to see its behavior
DNA is one of the most peculiar elements of living beings. Its shape, composition and way of behaving make it unique. Now, due to its microscopic size, we cannot always delight in its study, but thanks to new research we can see the highest resolution photographs ever taken of DNA.
Through DNA we can know characteristics of each person, possible chronic diseases, their ancestors or similarities with other human and primate species for example. With current technology, the study of DNA is relatively common, in fact until there is business with it (with its consequences). But despite everything we still don’t know him closely.
A team of researchers from the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York have published in nature the DNA research they’ve been working on. By combining different study techniques, they have been able to closely observe the DNA and the movements it performs. An amazing “dance” in which he squirms and moves the entire helical structure.
The DNA can be surprisingly active when it is inside a cell. The proof of this are the various photographs that the researchers took. The images were taken with an atomic force microscope, which essentially scans the topography of DNA at a nanometric level of detail. With them the researchers were able to obtain a detailed image of the surface of the DNA molecule.
After taking different photographs, it was possible to observe how the DNA molecule changed its shape by twisting and retreating. From there, the scientists were able to perform a series of computer simulations based on photographs to visualize how the molecule is moving. The result? A peculiar dance.
As can be seen, the photographed DNAs are small circles. DNA in its normal state is not really like that, but these little circles are formed when a strand is joined at both ends. Researchers say that DNA was more “relaxed” when it was not twisted on itself, but that at the time of squirming there was much more movement. These movements are what allow DNA to find binding partners.
Studying the movements and behaviors of DNA is essential to better understand how to intervene in it if we want to modify it to, for example, cure diseases. It can also be helpful in diagnosing to patients. For now, it’s time to enjoy their dances.
Via | Leeds More information | Nature