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Condensates: role in epigenetic inheritance and a simple experimental model system

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SPLW03 - Biological condensates: cellular mechanisms governed by phase transitions

Biomolecular condensates allow cells to overcome various physical challenges in a relatively simple manner. As an example, we propose that cells use specialized condensates to reconstruct epigenetic information that is lost during replication. Chromatin itself plays an important role in the formation of these condensates (see previous talk on polymer-assisted condensation). Missing epigenetic tags are then placed back on the nucleosomes via special enzymes located inside the condensates. I present some unpublished computer simulations that provide a proof of concept. In the second part of my talk, I switch gears and present some ongoing experiments with a low-cost experimental model system based on PEG -dextran solutions, in which the resulting physical droplet properties can be controlled by adding DNA and spermidine.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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