The First Photograph of DNA
In 2012, Enzo di Fabrizio, a researcher at the University of Genoa, Italy, developed a technique to pull strands of DNA between two nanoscopic silicone pillars, then photograph them via an electron microscope. The Watson-Crick double helix had already been observed, sequenced and manipulated, but up until this point never directly photographed.
The structure of DNA was originally imaged by using X-ray crystallography, which involves scattering X-rays off atoms in crystallized arrays of DNA to create patterns of dots on photographic film. Complex algorithms were then used to interpret the resulting image renditions. When Fabrizio and his team extracted the seven individual threads of DNA from a solution and laid them on the silicon posts, the "cord" was trapped for direct imaging, using electrons as opposed to X-ray photons.
The results shown above made waves in the scientific community; a high-contrast, direct photograph of the world's most famous corkscrew.