Sure, two strands of DNA are pretty impressive, but what about four strands? Scientists at Cambridge University found that not only does it exist, it exists in functioning human cells.
Researchers who published the finding in Nature Chemistry are calling the molecule the G-quadruplex. “G” refers to the DNA base guanine, since these quadruplexes tend to form when there is a lot of guanine present. The four-helix molecule has been seen before in microscopic organisms called ciliates, but this is the first time they’ve been found in human cells.
Authors of the study believe the G-quadruplex might have some link to cancer, and will be experimenting with them more to possibly formulate new treatments.