To watch DNA unwrap, blank out the proteins

Biophysics is a science of shapes – the shapes of molecules like DNA as they wrap and unwrap around protein cores, for instance. Cornell researchers have unveiled a new method for observing such processes in real time.

Professor of applied and engineering physics Lois Pollack and her research group have devised a way to watch dynamic movements and shape changes of molecules in solution using a new X-ray scattering method. In a Nucleic Acids Research paper recently published online, they proved their method by observing transient nucleosome structures as DNA unwound from them. The work was done in collaboration with professor Lisa Gloss and her research group at Washington State University.

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