We’ve all learned that DNA is a double helix, but it’s more complex than we may think. What other configurations can DNA have?
Supercoiled DNA: Double Helix Gone Wild
“The iconic double helix shape of DNA is one of the most famous images in all of science. The structure, formed by double-stranded molecules of nucleic acids, was discovered by researchers James Watson and Francis Crick, and popularized in Watson’s 1978 book ‘The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA.'”
Supercoiled DNA is far more dynamic than the ‘Watson-Crick’ double helix
“Researchers have imaged in unprecedented detail the three-dimensional structure of supercoiled DNA, revealing that its shape is much more dynamic than the well-known double helix.”
‘Quadruple helix’ DNA seen in human cells
“Cambridge University scientists say they have seen four-stranded DNA at work in human cells for the first time. The famous “molecule of life”, which carries our genetic code, is more familiar to us as a double helix.”
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