Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two Meters of DNA Packed Into a Six-Micron Cell Nucleus And no Tangles

Your body can pack two meters of DNA into a six-micron cell nucleus without knotting or tangling. Someone needs to harness this power and apply it to computer cords and cables.

"I can't seem to manage to keep my iPod in my bag for a day without creating an awful tangle of headphones, but my body's cells can work with two meters of stringy DNA into a tiny nucleus without making a knot. The secret is a structure called a fractal globule, according to a research paper to be published tomorrow in the journal Science.
Enter the fractal globule. This paper presents the first time this highly organized structure of strands has ever been observed anywhere. It keeps genes that are near each other on a strand also near each other in the ball, so that any point can be pulled in and out without knotting.

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