Physics at Virginia

"Physical basis for the spatial organization of DNA"

Bae-Yeun Ha , University of Waterloo
[Host: Seunghun Lee ]
DNA is not only a passive storage of life’s information but also a fascinating physical object, which actively participates in many biological processes of vital importance (e.g., DNA replication and organization). In aqueous solution, DNA is highly-negatively charged. By themselves, DNA molecules would repel each other. Also, they are molecular springs: DNA strands resist bending, twisting, stretching, and confinement. In a living cell, however, DNA is tightly packed and organized into higher-order structures. Perhaps, the most intriguing “show” DNA molecules display is their spatial organization or segregation, while maintaining a high level of compaction. How can this be accomplished? Using a simple but biology-inspired model of DNA, I will present a physical basis for DNA organization and segregation, especially in rod-shape bacteria.
Condensed Matter Seminar
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
1:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 313
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