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Just as the best way to organise thread is to wind it around a spool, the best way to manage DNA is to wind it around a ‘spool’ known as a nucleosome. A single DNA molecule is wound around many nucleosomes, leading to a ‘beads on a string’ appearance. Patrick studies proteins that function as molecular motors using chemical energy to remove or alter the position of nucleosomes. This happens when DNA is accessed by other proteins, for example, when the genome is copied. As faulty motor proteins may be involved in Williams-Beuren Syndrome, Patrick’s work has implications for human health.