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Biomolecular machines on and of DNA

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

Cells contain a huge number of complex nanoscale machines. We are interested in deciphering how such machines are functioning on the molecular level. We use modern single-molecule tools such as magnetic tweezers and fluorescence techniques. This methodology allows to probe single biomolecules with force and torque and simultaneously to determine their conformation and localization. This way the activity of individual enzymes can be followed in real-time. We show how we can gain insight into the mechanism of different DNA interacting proteins, such as helicases, nucleases and enzymes involved in viral defense. In addition, we try to use our understanding about biomolecular systems to build up artificial nanoscale machines by employing self-assembled DNA nanostructures. Such 3-dimensional structures can be used as rigid building blocks. For example, we apply them to influence the shape of lipid membranes but also to dictate the growth of inorganic nanoparticles.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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