Direct observation of native DNA structures with the scanning tunneling microscope

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Science  20 Jan 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4889, pp. 370-372
DOI: 10.1126/science.2911747


Uncoated double-stranded DNA dissolved in a salt solution was deposited on graphite and imaged in air with the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). The resolution was such that the major and minor grooves could be distinguished. The pitch of the helix varied between 27 and 63 angstroms in the images obtained. Thus the STM can be useful for structural studies of a variety of uncoated and isolated biomolecules.

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