Double Helix Nebula

Hybridization is the process of complementary base pairs binding to form a double helix. Melting is the process by which the interactions between the strands of the double helix are broken, separating the two nucleic acid strands. These bonds are weak, easily separated by gentle heating, enzymes, or mechanical force. Melting occurs preferentially at certain points in the nucleic acid. T and A rich regions are more easily melted than C and G rich regions. Some base steps (pairs) are also susceptible to DNA melting, such as T A and T G. These mechanical features are reflected by the use of sequences such as TATA at the start of many genes to assist RNA polymerase in melting the DNA for transcription.