UMR 5672

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The mechanical genome

Helmut Schiessel (Leiden)
When Jan 25, 2016
from 11:00 to 12:00
Where Amphi. Schrödinger
Attendees Helmut Schiessel
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In this talk I will show that DNA molecules contain another layer of information on top of classical genetic information. This different type of information is of mechanical nature and guides the folding of the DNA molecule inside cells. The two layers can be multiplexed without loss of information as one can have two phone conversations on the same wire. We have developed a new Monte Carlo technique, the Mutation Monte Carlo method, that allows us to address this set of problems. Using this technique I will show how mechanical information can be used to guide, with base-pair precision, the packaging of DNA into nucleosomes, ubiquitous DNA-protein complexes that wrap about three quarter of our DNA at any given time. I will also show how we can design nucleosomes with exotic mechanical properties. Our findings suggest that there is a mechanical evolution of DNA molecules that takes place parallel to the classical evolution.

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