HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Penn researcher shows that DNA gets kinky easily at the nanoscale

PHILADELPHIA Scientists have answered a long-standing molecular stumper regarding DNA: How can parts of such a rigid molecule bend and coil without requiring large amounts of force? According to a team of researchers from the United States and the Netherlands, led by a physicist from the University of Pennsylvania, DNA is much more flexible than previously believed when examined over extremely small lengths. They used a technique called atomic force microscopy to determine the amount of energy necessary to bend DNA over nano-size lengths (about a million times smaller than a printed letter).

The findings, which appear in the November issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, illustrate how molecular properties often appear different when viewed at different degrees of magnification.

"DNA is not a passive molecule. It constantly needs to bend, forming loops and kinks, as other molecules interact with it," said Philip Nelson, a professor in Penn's Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences. "But when people looked at long chunks of DNA, it always seemed to behave like a stiff elastic rod."

For example, DNA must wrap itself around proteins, forming tiny molecular structures called nucleosomes, which help regulate how genes are read. The formation of tight DNA loops also plays a key role in switching some genes off. According to Nelson, such processes were considered a minor mystery of nature, in part because researchers didn't have the tools of nanotechnology to examine molecules in such fine detail.

"Common sense and physics seemed to tell us that DNA just shouldn't spontaneously bend into such tight structures, yet it does," Nelson said. "In the conventional view of a DNA molecule, wrapping DNA into a nucleosome would be like bending a yardstick around a baseball."

To study DNA on the needed short length scales, Nelson and his colleagues used a technique called high-resolution atomic force micr
'"/>

Contact: Greg Lester
glester@pobox.upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
3-Nov-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Innovative tagging technique may help researchers better protect fish stocks
2. Penn researchers discover how key protein stops inflammation
3. ASU researchers partner with UOP to make biofuel for military jets a reality
4. Einstein researchers prototype vaccine could provide improved protection against tuberculosis
5. Penn researchers discover pathway that eliminates genetic defects in red blood cells
6. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
7. 2007 EURYI: 20 young researchers to receive Nobel Prize-sized awards for breakthrough ideas
8. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
9. MGH researchers confirm that bone marrow restores fertility in female mice
10. Smithsonians National Zoo researchers use electronic eggs to help save threatened species
11. U-M researchers identify gene involved in breast cancer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Penn researcher shows that DNA gets kinky easily the nanoscale

(Date:10/17/2014)... Copenhagen have shown for the first time how bacteria ... patients, giving them the opportunity to get tremendous insights ... The study also discovered the bacterial growth in chronic ... or slowed down by the immune cells. The researchers ... helped "suffocate" the bacteria, forcing the bacteria to switch ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... conventional thinking on how the bowel lining develops and, ... bowel cancer starts. , The researchers produced evidence that ... ,crypts, that are a feature of the bowel lining, ... cancer development, a controversial finding as scientists are still ... imaging technologies, Dr Chin Wee Tan and Professor Tony ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... N.Y. , Oct. 15, 2014 ... solutions for home and community-based care, today announced ... of implementing Sandata,s Santrax® Electronic Visit Verification™ Solution ... Services is a home health company founded in ... Texas . The study ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Scientists opens black box on bacterial growth in cystic fibrosis lung infection 2Cryptic clues drive new theory of bowel cancer development 2Sandata Announces Case Study with Quality Care Services, Inc. 2
(Date:10/25/2014)... , October 24, 2014 ... Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/t5t5pd/the_global_market ) has announced the addition ... Nanotubes, Graphene And Other 2-D Nanomaterials " ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) , ,CNTs and graphene are ... known to man, with a performance-per-weight greater ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 21, 2014 The North American crystal ... North America with analysis and forecast of revenue. This ... is expected to reach $623.6 million by 2018, at ... Browse through the TOC of the North American crystal ... in-depth analysis provided. This also provides a glimpse of ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... Khaimah, UAE (PRWEB) October 22, 2014 ... life science and healthcare projects, announces the addition of ... DRCOG DCH to its advisory team. Dr. Siddiqui will ... team. , A graduate of University College ... was subsequently degreed in medicine in 2001. With further ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 22, 2014 Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB: NVLX) – ... people worldwide are living with diabetes, with  that number ... The global market for diabetes treatments is approximately $500 ... worldwide died from pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic cancer is the ... in the United States , and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:The Global Market for Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene and Other 2-D Nanomaterials 2The Global Market for Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene and Other 2-D Nanomaterials 3The Global Market for Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene and Other 2-D Nanomaterials 4The North American crystal oscillator market is expected to reach $623.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The North American crystal oscillator market is expected to reach $623.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The North American crystal oscillator market is expected to reach $623.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 4Dr. Yousef Siddiqui joins the Grace Century Advisory Team 2Nuvilex Brief Analyst Report: Thinking Outside the Box by BrokerBank Securities, Inc. 2
Cached News: