Los Angeles Times

In human cells, scientists find DNA that looks like a twisted knot instead of a double helix

For the first time, scientists have detected a DNA structure inside living human cells that looks more like a four-stranded knot than the elegant double helix we know from biology textbooks.

The tangled shape, known as an i-motif, had been seen before in the lab, but nobody thought it could occur in human cells - until now.

The new work shows not only that i-motifs do indeed exist in human cells, but that they may be quite common.

"Our imaging suggests that this is a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times4 min readSociety
Commentary: 'Fighting' Disease Is The Wrong Metaphor
When Alex Trebek, the longtime "Jeopardy" host, revealed to the world that he'd been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer this spring, his statement echoed the words of many patients I've treated. "I'm going to fight this," Trebek promised. "I pl
Los Angeles Times4 min readPolitics
Michael Hiltzik: Black Unemployment Is Rising Again, Undermining A Trump Boast On Economic Growth
One aspect of American life that President Trump never tires of taking credit for is economic growth - specifically, job growth. So you won't hear him pointing out the disturbing discrepancy in the employment figures between white and black workers.
Los Angeles Times4 min read
Who Won 'Game Of Thrones'? From First To Last, Peter Dinklage
Warning: This story contains spoilers for the finale of "Game of Thrones." The biggest trick "Game of Thrones" played on its audience was not the two-season buildup to a battle with the Night King that lasted only one episode or the survival of way m