Autocorrelation Functions of Noisy Electron Micrographs of Stained Polynucleotide Chains

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Science  08 Mar 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3819, pp. 1111-1113
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3819.1111


Polyuridylic acid was deposited on carbon films in the presence of the thallous salt of mercury-p-dihydroquinone-O,O-diacetic acid under conditions leading to attachment of one of these molecules to each nucleotide. In electron micrographs of the stained polynucleotide chain, detail was obscured by the noise resulting from the substrate. Optically obtained autocorrelation functions of the distribution of density along the strands revealed peaks suggesting a structural regularity of 8 angstroms; this was interpreted as the internucleotide spacing.