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Structure and mechanics of chromatin fibers and viral capsids at the mesoscale

Structure and mechanics of chromatin fibers and viral capsids at the mesoscale

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When Dec 04, 2013
from 02:00 pm to 03:30 pm
Speaker Antoni Luque
Speaker Information Department of Chemistry, NYU
Where 1311 HN
Contact Name Neepa Maitra
Contact Email
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Abstract

Biological systems have evolved for more than 4.5 billion years, developing, in this process, all sort of efficient physical mechanisms at molecular and macroscopic levels. Understanding these mechanisms could help advance different disciplines, such as biomedicine and soft matter, but for the most part, they remain largely uncharacterized. In this talk we will see two examples where the combination of statistical mechanics with coarse-grained models is establishing general frameworks that explain relevant physical mechanisms in biology. First, we will focus on viral capsids, the protein shell that protects the genetic material of viruses, and we will understand the physical principles underlying their structure, mechanical properties, and self-assembly. Second, we will focus on chromatin, the highly condensed complex of DNA and proteins stored in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, and we will unveil some physical mechanisms that control the structure and dynamics of this essential cellular component. In both cases we will see how these investigations can promote further studies and applications.

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