HELENE FOURNIE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HELENE FOURNIE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cellular packaging of DNA. Illustration of the packaging of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from chromosome (upper centre) to the DNA strand form (lower right). Between these states, the DNA winds tightly into coils that wrap around protein structures called histones to form units called nucleosomes. Linker DNA joins the nucleosomes. Further coiling forms strands of chromatin, which condenses during cell division to form structures called chromosomes. DNA forms the genetic basis of nearly all living organisms. The DNA in a cell nucleus (less than 0.1 millimetres across) is over 2 metres in length when unravelled.
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