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First Direct Image of DNA Double Helix 44

New submitter bingbat writes "Scientists at the University at Genoa, Italy have successfully photographed the double-helix structure of a single strand of DNA, using a tunneling electron microscope. This marks the first visual confirmation of its structure." The full paper is behind a paywall, but the linked abstract includes the picture that's worth a thousand words.
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First Direct Image of DNA Double Helix

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  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @05:54AM (#42153341)

    No, X-ray crystallography was an indirect confirmation - sort of like the current methods for detecting extrasolar planets.

    This was actually directly photographing the helix, which is novel - though according to other (much better!) summaries it's still not of a single (or even double) DNA molecule:

    "This technique will allow researchers to view single molecules of DNA interacting with other molecules. For now, the method only works with cords of DNA, made up of six molecules wrapped around a seventh acting like a core. This was needed because the energy of the electron streams could break apart a single DNA molecule."

  • Human DNA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jovius ( 974690 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @10:17AM (#42154183)

    If it was human this is the first time DNA took a photo of itself. It took a few million years and much learning and understanding to realize the present capabilities, but finally we are there.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN