Friday, December 14, 2012

First photo of DNA in all its twisted glory!

Nearly sixty years ago, James Watson and Francis Crick figured out what DNA - that mega-long molecule containing the blueprints of organic life - looked like. All they had at the time was deduction through observation and x-ray crystallography (don't worry, it took me awhile to learn how that worked, too!) to figure out the double-helix arrangement. But they had no way of actually seeing the darned thing.

Now for the first time, scientists have been able to visually image DNA using a novel technique with electron microscopy and a teeny tiny "bed of nails". Hit the above link for more about how Enzo di Fabrizio and his fellow boffins at Italian Institute of Technology pulled it off.

As for the first real picture of DNA, behold:

Photo credit: Enzo di Fabrizio/Italian Institute of Technology
WOW! It's the double-helix determined by Watson and Crick... but look at how tightly packed that thing is!! Doesn't look as spacious as those colorful twisty ladders we all saw in our high school biology labs, does it?

Amazing, that that much information about the design of you, me, every person on the planet and all other known forms of life on Earth, takes up so tiny an amount of space within the nucleus of a cell. I heard years ago that if you took all the DNA of your body and strung the individual molecules end-on-end, that it would reach from the Earth to the Sun.

Looking at that picture, I'm finally believing it.

No comments:

Friday, December 14, 2012

First photo of DNA in all its twisted glory!

Nearly sixty years ago, James Watson and Francis Crick figured out what DNA - that mega-long molecule containing the blueprints of organic life - looked like. All they had at the time was deduction through observation and x-ray crystallography (don't worry, it took me awhile to learn how that worked, too!) to figure out the double-helix arrangement. But they had no way of actually seeing the darned thing.

Now for the first time, scientists have been able to visually image DNA using a novel technique with electron microscopy and a teeny tiny "bed of nails". Hit the above link for more about how Enzo di Fabrizio and his fellow boffins at Italian Institute of Technology pulled it off.

As for the first real picture of DNA, behold:

Photo credit: Enzo di Fabrizio/Italian Institute of Technology
WOW! It's the double-helix determined by Watson and Crick... but look at how tightly packed that thing is!! Doesn't look as spacious as those colorful twisty ladders we all saw in our high school biology labs, does it?

Amazing, that that much information about the design of you, me, every person on the planet and all other known forms of life on Earth, takes up so tiny an amount of space within the nucleus of a cell. I heard years ago that if you took all the DNA of your body and strung the individual molecules end-on-end, that it would reach from the Earth to the Sun.

Looking at that picture, I'm finally believing it.

No comments: