RNA ties itself in knots, then unties itself in mesmerizing video

Striking new videos show how RNA — the genetic molecule that tells cells how to build proteins — tangles up in insane knots as it forms, only to disentangle itself at the last second, and in a way that took scientists by surprise. 

The high-resolution videos depict a bouncing conga line of nucleotides, the building blocks of RNA; as the single strand of RNA grows longer, these nucleotides dance and twist into different three-dimensional shapes, wiggling first into one conformation and then another. Once fully assembled, the RNA assumes its final shape, which dictates how it can interact with other molecules and proteins in the cell. 

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