University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > BSS Formal Seminars > VIRUS ASSEMBLY AND GENOME TRANSLOCATION: ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES FROM POLYMER PHYSICS

VIRUS ASSEMBLY AND GENOME TRANSLOCATION: ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES FROM POLYMER PHYSICS

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Eileen Nugent.

Myriads of viruses keep on proliferating around us. How are the virus genomes, which carry information for making the next generation of viruses, organized inside viruses? Guided by experimental facts, we show that fundamental principles from polyelectrolyte physics underlie virus assembly. Electrical charge balance between the genomes and the proteins enclosing them dictates the genome assembly and the kinetics follows the same nucleation and growth mechanism as seen in first order phase transitions. Our predictions capture the essential aspects of genome packing in diversely different viruses evolved over billions of years, and provide new strategies for packaging genes for medical applications while questioning the general applicability of the central dogma. The translocation of electrically charged macromolecules through narrow channels is a fundamental process in life. The biophysics of polymer translocation process will be discussed using simulations and polymer physics concepts against a background of single-molecule experiments. Specifically, the movement of DNA /RNA through alpha-hemolysin channels and solid-state nanopores under an external electric field will be presented.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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