DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human DNA and nucleus. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of human DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, strands) superimposed on a confocal light micrograph of a mammalian nucleus (bright blue and pink). The DNA seen here is in its uncondensed form and measures several metres in length. However, a mammalian cell nucleus, which holds a cell's DNA, only measures between 0. To fit into the nucleus the DNA is first coiled around proteins (called histones) to form a complex known as a nucleosome. The nucleosomes then further coil and condense to form chromatin, the DNA-protein complex that makes up chromosomes. Magnification: x20,000 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.
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