Measuring forces in the DNA molecule

Illustration of base-pair bonding. (Christoph Hohmann & Hendrik Dietz/ Nano Init
Illustration of base-pair bonding. (Christoph Hohmann & Hendrik Dietz/ Nano Initiative Munich/ TUM)
Research 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".

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. ...

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