In the 1960s, Nobel laureate Pierre-Gilles de Gennes postulated that someday researchers could test his theories of polymer networks by observing single molecules. Researchers at Brown observed single molecules of DNA being drawn through nanopores by electrical current and figured out why they most often travel head first.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — If you want to understand a novel, it helps to start from the beginning rather than trying to pick up the plot from somewhere in the middle. The same goes for analyzing a strand of DNA. The best way to make sense of it is to look at it head to tail.
Luckily, according to a new study by physicists at Brown University, DNA molecules have a convenient tendency to cooperate. (more…)