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Math Trek

Detangling DNA

DNA can form some very nasty knots — but not just any knots

By
11:49am, May 23, 2008

Deep inside our cells, the DNA that encodes the mysteries of our individuality twines into tidy little spiral staircases neatly side by side — or so we might imagine.

Consider, though, that if you scale up the nucleus of a cell to the size of a basketball, each molecule of DNA inside it would resemble fishing line more than four miles long. And now

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