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The nucleosome, the fundamental packing unit of chromatin, has a distinct chirality: 147 bp of DNA are wrapped around the core histones in a left-handed, negative superhelix. It has been suggested that this chirality has functional significance, particularly in the context of the cellular processes that generate DNA supercoiling, such as transcription and(More)
DNA melting under torsion plays an important role in a wide variety of cellular processes. In the present Letter, we have investigated DNA melting at the single-molecule level using an angular optical trap. By directly measuring force, extension, torque, and angle of DNA, we determined the structural and elastic parameters of torsionally melted DNA. Our(More)
While slowly turning the ends of a single molecule of DNA at constant applied force, a discontinuity was recently observed at the supercoiling transition when a small plectoneme is suddenly formed. This can be understood as an abrupt transition into a state in which stretched and plectonemic DNA coexist. We argue that there should be discontinuities in both(More)
A dynamical system is said to exhibit hysteresis if its current state depends on its history. Muscle shows hysteretic properties at constant length, such as residual force enhancement after stretch. There is no generally accepted explanation for residual force enhancement. Here we examine a very simple kinetic model for the interaction between actin and(More)
Dielectrophoresis was used to stretch and suspend actin filaments across a trench etched between two electrodes patterned on a glass slide. Optical tweezers were used to bring a motor protein-coated bead into close proximity to a pre-selected, suspended actin filament, facilitating the attachment of the myosin-coated bead to the filament. The clearance(More)
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