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Latest Boris Joffe Stories

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2009-04-21 08:00:00

The DNA of a mammalian cell is about two metres long if all base pairs were aligned in one string. To fit this genetic material in a nucleus of only a few microns diameter, the DNA is wrapped around millions of so-called histon proteins that are arranged like pearls on a string, leading to a 10,000-fold compaction of the DNA.

2009-04-17 11:25:08

The eyes of nocturnal mammals have very large numbers of highly-sensitive rod photoreceptors (the cell type responsible for night vision). They have to perceive light which is less than a millionth of the intensity of daylight

2009-04-16 14:19:26

Researchers have discovered an important element for making night vision possible in nocturnal mammals: the DNA within the photoreceptor rod cells responsible for low light vision is packaged in a very unconventional way


Word of the Day
sudarium
  • A handkerchief.
  • Specifically— The legendary sweat-cloth; the handkerchief of St. Veronica, according to tradition miraculously impressed with the mask of Christ; also, the napkin about Christ's head (Johu xx. 7).
  • In general, any miraculous portrait of Christ.
The word 'sudarium' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a handkerchief'.