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 : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180423135054.htm
Link to study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41557-018-0046-3