One of my favorite blogs of late is The Last Word on Nothing, where several particularly literate, imaginative, restless, and thoughtful writers post on science, culture, and life. The most recent posts, for instance, consider science and music; magic; crying; and the universe, twice. Why think small? Yet today, actually, one of the regulars there, Virginia Hughes, thinks really small, with a short video that illustrates how DNA manages to pack its immensely long self into the teeny confines of a cell nucleus — the genome as a beaded string of circus clowns.
Scientists, being orderly types, have generally thought DNA packed itself tight the way most of us would pack a suitcase: by getting really organized. As the vid suggests, it turns out otherwise. Music by Chopin, as elaborated here. Video by Virginia Hughes.
(Not Really) the Last Word on DNA from Virginia Hughes on Vimeo.
Do yourself justice: Make the Last Word one of your first stops each browsing day.