4 weeks ago
For the first time, biologists have detected a DNA structure inside living human cells that is not a double helix. Instead, the DNA looks more like a four-stranded knot, reports The Los Angeles Times. The tangled shape is called an i-motif, and has been seen before in the lab, but researchers did not expect it to occur in human cells. This new research proves that i-motifs do exist in human cells, and might actually be quite common.
“Our imaging suggests that this is a normal thing that happens,” said Marcel Dinger, a molecular biologist at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, who oversaw the research, to The LA Times. “It is very likely that genomes in all the cells of our bodies are forming i-motifs at some point in time.”