Friday, October 1, 2004
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.

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"The Physics of Confined DNA"

Jane' Kondev , Brandeis
[Host: Paul Fendley]
DNA in viruses and in cells is packed in spaces much smaller than its natural size. This state of confinement places interesting constraints on a variety of biological processes DNA is involved in, such as viral infection, gene expression, and recombination. Quantitative experimentation using techniques such as laser tweezers, cryo-electron microscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy has recently begun to probe in detail the confined state of DNA, both in living cells and in the test tube. In this talk I will describe this emerging experimental landscape and outline the theoretical challenges it poses. The particular examples I will focus on will be provided by DNA packing in viruses and gene regulation in bacteria.

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