In the very first time in the world, researchers from Australia have identified a new structure of DNA, called i-motif, inside cells. A twisted ‘knot’ of DNA, the i-motif has never been seen before directly inside living cells.
Deep inside the cells in human body lies the DNA. The information that is contained in the DNA code, all 6 billion A, C, G and T letters provides precise instructions as to how do our bodies work and how are they built.
Researchers Yet to Ascertain its Impact on Health
Since the year 1953, the iconic ‘double helix’ shape of DNA has captured imagination of the public, when Francis Crick and James Watson had famously uncovered the structure of DNA. However, it’s now a known fact that short stretches of DNA can exist in various other shapes, at least in the laboratory and scientists suspect that these various shapes might play a crucial role in when and how the DNA code is ‘read’.
The new shape of DNA looks completely different to the double-stranded DNA double helix. Associate Professor Daniel Christ (Head, Antibody Therapeutics Lab, Garvan) who co-led the research states that when most of the people think of DNA, they think of the double helix but this new research shows us that totally different DNA structures does exist and it could well be important for our cells
Assistant professor Marcel Dinger said that it’s exciting to discover a whole new form of DNA in cells and these new findings are expected to set the stage for a whole new thrust to comprehend what this new DNA shape is actually for, and whether it would create an impact on disease and health or not.
These new findings have been published on in the leading journal called Nature Chemistry.