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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Oct 1;105(14):148101. Epub 2010 Sep 27.

Changes in the zero-point energy of the protons as the source of the binding energy of water to A-phase DNA.

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Physics Department, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204, USA.


The measured changes in the zero-point kinetic energy of the protons are entirely responsible for the binding energy of water molecules to A phase DNA at the concentration of 6  water molecules/base pair. The changes in kinetic energy can be expected to be a significant contribution to the energy balance in intracellular biological processes and the properties of nano-confined water. The shape of the momentum distribution in the dehydrated A phase is consistent with coherent delocalization of some of the protons in a double well potential, with a separation of the wells of 0.2 Å.

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