The topology of nucleic acids

Mathematical Biology Seminar
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 11:00am for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Mariel Vazquez – University of California, Davis –
Daniel Cruz

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Multiple cellular processes such as replication, recombination, and packing change the topology of nucleic acids. The genetic code of viruses and of living organisms is encoded in very long DNA or RNA molecules, which are tightly packaged in confined environments. Understanding the geometry and topology of nucleic acids is key to understanding the mechanisms of viral infection and the inner workings of a cell. We use techniques from knot theory and low-dimensional topology, aided by discrete methods and computational tools, to ask questions about the topological state of a genome. I will illustrate the use of these methods with examples drawn from recent work in my group.


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