Wednesday, May 2, 2018

New Strand of DNA Discovered


       Australian researchers have identified a new DNA structure called the "I-motif", inside of cells. This new structure is a twisted knot shape, which has never before been seen inside of living cells but rather has been discovered in laboratory settings. Previously, the iconic "double helix" shape of DNA has been used as an understanding to how DNA reads and codes, however it has now been discovered that short stretches of DNA can exist in these other shapes, leaving scientist to suspect the these different shapes might play an important role in how and when DNA code is read.
         The newly discovered "I-motif" shape is a four stranded knot. In the knot structure, C letters on the same strand of DNA bind to each other- whereas in a double helix opposite letters bind to each other therefore C would bind to G. As this strand of DNA has only existed within laboratory settings, there is a large debate within the science community as to weather I motifs and other stranded DNA would ever be found in living things. In the future, discoveries surrounding alternative DNA shape will allow researchers to understand the impact of DNA shape on health and disease.

 Link to original article :
Link to study:


  1. I find this to be very interesting that they are discovering new things about DNA. I would like to learn more about this and to learn if in fact they can find this in living things.

  2. Just when I thought I knew all there was to know about DNA. Is what happens to Cytosine also the case for the other DNA bases (Thymine, Adneine, and Guanine)?

  3. This is very interesting. I wonder how these new shapes would be affected by certain DNA cutting enzymes and how we can properly manipulate them

  4. This is so fascinating, DNA just keeps presenting more surprises, I believe the next step is that now that the researchers know what this structure looks like, to try and look for it in living things too.