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It gets mighty crowded around your DNA, but don't worry: According to Rice University researchers, your proteins are nimble enough to find what they need. Rice theoretical scientists studying the mechanisms of protein-DNA interactions in live cells showed that crowding in cells doesn't hamper protein binding as much as they thought it did. Through analytical theory and sophisticated computer simulations, they came to believe that the many molecules dispersed on or around DNA generally move quickly enough to give transcription factors and other proteins easy access to target genes. These targets are starting points for all biological processes. They contain the information necessary to make more proteins, the workhorses that catalyze activities throughout the body. "Think of DNA as a big library," Rice biophysicist Anatoly Kolomeisky said. "You want the books to be accessible." Read more...