P. SOLE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY P. SOLE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cellular DNA. Artwork of a strand of the genetic material DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) unwound from a cell nucleus. Cells (orange, blue nuclei) are the microscopic units of most living organisms. Chromosomes within the cell nuclei contain DNA that mediates the biochemistry of life. The DNA in a cell nucleus (less than 0.1 millimetres across) would stretch over 2 metres in length. Several levels of the compact packaging are seen, ranging from the molecular structure (far right) to the double helix structure (centre) through the many coiling stages to the nucleus (bottom right). The helix stage shows the nucleotide bases (orange), whose sequence determines the genetic code.
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