Thursday, December 06, 2012

A Photo of DNA

This is just too good: a picture of DNA, said to be the first ever:

First Photo Of Dna

It looks....just like the physical biologists said it did in 1953, based on the physics of X-ray crystallography.

Did you know that DNA, as a molecule, was first isolated by a Swiss physician named Friedrich Miescher in 1869? He didn't, of course, know about its genetic significance, but still that's pretty impressive.

Several years ago a biologist friend and I tried to isolate the DNA of an onion in my kitchen, but it came out a gloppy mess. Which is kind of how I, and most physicists I know, think of biology -- a wet, gloppy mess. (It's wrong, of course, but a bias among physicists.)

I suspect that in 30 years high school students will be sequencing their teacher's DNA in their bedroom.

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