June 16, 2024

Can We Live Longer? Physicist’s Breakthrough Discovery in Genetic Protective Layer

Researchers have actually found a new structure of telomeric DNA, which could be essential to living longer.
Scientists have found a brand-new structure of telomeric DNA with the aid of physics and a small magnet. Telomeres are seen by numerous scientists as the key to living longer.
When you hear DNA mentioned, physics is typically not the very first clinical discipline that springs to mind. John van Noort from the Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) in the Netherlands is one of the scientists who found the new DNA structure.
String of beads
Every cell of our bodies includes chromosomes that bring genes that determine our characteristics (what we look like, for example). At the ends of these chromosomes are telomeres, which protect the chromosomes from damage. Theyre a bit like aglets, the plastic pointers at the ends of shoelaces.

Figure 1: A cell, chromosome, and telomeres. Credit: Leiden University
Because the DNA between the telomeres is 2 meters long, it has actually to be folded to fit in a cell. These are arranged into something similar to a string of beads, with a nucleosome, a piece of free (or unbound) DNA, a nucleosome, and so on.
How it does so depends on the length of the DNA between the nucleosomes, the beads on the string. In one of them, 2 nearby beads stick together and complimentary DNA hangs in between (figure 2A). If the piece of DNA in between the beads is much shorter, the adjacent beads do not handle to stick together.
In their research study, Van Noort and colleagues found another telomere structure. Here the nucleosomes are much closer together, so there is no longer any totally free DNA in between the beads. This ultimately develops one big helix, or spiral, of DNA (figure 2C).
Figure 2: The 3 various DNA structures. Credit: Leiden University
Magnet
The brand-new structure was found utilizing a mix of electron microscopy and molecular force spectroscopy. Here one end of the DNA is attached to a glass slide and a small magnetic ball is stuck to the other. The scientists in Singapore then utilized an electron microscopic lense to get a better photo of the structure.
Foundation
If we know the structure of the molecules, this will give us more insight into how genes are switched on and off and how enzymes in cells deal with telomeres: how they fix and copy DNA. The discovery of the new telomeric structure will enhance our understanding of the building obstructs in the body.
A telomere is an area of repeated DNA series at the end of a chromosome. Eventually, they end up being so short that the cell can no longer divide effectively, and the cell passes away.
Referral: “Columnar structure of human telomeric chromatin” by Aghil Soman, Sook Yi Wong, Nikolay Korolev, Wahyu Surya, Simon Lattmann, Vinod K. Vogirala, Qinming Chen, Nikolay V. Berezhnoy, John van Noort, Daniela Rhodes and Lars Nordenskiöld, 14 September 2022, Nature.DOI: 10.1038/ s41586-022-05236-5.

Scientists have discovered a new structure of telomeric DNA with the aid of physics and a tiny magnet. John van Noort from the Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) in the Netherlands is one of the researchers who discovered the new DNA structure. Since the DNA between the telomeres is two meters long, it has actually to be folded to fit in a cell. If the piece of DNA in between the beads is much shorter, the nearby beads do not manage to stick together. If we know the structure of the particles, this will provide us more insight into how genes are changed on and off and how enzymes in cells deal with telomeres: how they fix and copy DNA.