Measuring forces in the DNA molecule

From nanowerk news:

DNA, our genetic material, normally has the structure of a twisted rope ladder. Experts call this structure a double helix. Among other things, it is stabilized by stacking forces between base pairs. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have succeeded at measuring these forces for the very first time on the level of single base pairs. This new knowledge could help to construct precise molecular machines out of DNA. The researchers published their findings in the journal Science (“Single-molecule dissection of stacking forces in DNA”).

Over 60 years ago, the researchers Crick and Watson identified the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, which is more commonly known as DNA. They compared the double helix to a rope ladder that had been twisted into a spiral. The rungs of this ladder consisted of guanine/cytosine and thymine/adenine base pairs. But what keeps the DNA strands in that spiral structure?

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Image Credit:   Christoph Hohmann & Hendrik Dietz/ Nano Initiative Munich/ TUM

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2018-03-22T14:36:05+00:00

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