Cholesteric Liquid Crystalline DNA

High molecular weight DNA usually has a large population of molecules having differing molecular lengths and does not undergo phase transitions in discrete steps. The image presented above is a high density DNA liquid crystalline phase prepared with heterogeneous calf thymus DNA of very high molecular weight. The DNA concentration for this specimen is approximately 600 milligrams per millimeter, and the magnification is approximately 200x. The digital image presented above was originally recorded on Fujichrome 64T transparency film using a Nikon Optiphot-Pol microscope with crossed polarized illumination. Exposures were recorded about 2.5 f-steps under the recommended value given by an in-camera photomultiplier and were push-processed approximately 1.5 f-steps in the first E-6 developer.


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