FOUR-stranded “quadruple helix” molecules of DNA found in human cells may be the key to conquering cancer, research suggests.
The unusual molecules appear to play an important role in cell division. They are most common in rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells. Targeting them could provide a way to halt the runaway cell proliferation at the root of cancer, experts believe.
The discovery marks the 60th anniversary of the historic description of the double helix structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick.
It was made by Cambridge University scientists following in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors, whose paper was published in 1953.
In most cases, DNA consists of two strands of linked molecular building blocks.