Scientists at the Italian Institute of Technology managed to take a picture of DNA with the electron microscope. To capture the double helix at the pictures they have resorted to a kind of trick.
Enzo Di Fabrizio and colleagues developed a unique method of application of the sample. The scientists used a silicon substrate. The fact that the nanoscale silicon columns have a waterproof property, so that when applied to a DNA solution which moisture rapidly evaporates leaving only the stretched molecules, ready for shooting. In addition, researchers have in the substrate a plurality of apertures through which electron beams passed. So they were able to increase the resolution.
As a result, scientists have captured in the photo, "rope", formed by the DNA double helix, which looks like a corkscrew with tight turns. While scientists have been able to photograph only the threads of the six molecules that are twisted around the seventh. The problem of obtaining a single spiral is that it instantaneously disrupts the flow of high energy electrons, which are used in a transmission microscope.
Researchers collected future study as DNA interact with other active molecules, such as RNA and proteins. Now they are trying to improve the technology of preparation of the samples and to find a more sensitive detectors with a "cool" electrons to get the photo is not "Kompashki" molecules, and a single DNA double helix.