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Polymer Physics and DNA Topology

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jurij Kotar.

DNA appears in linear, circular and knotted forms, depending on the situation and conditions. It is therefore an excellent playground for polymer physics to test theoretical concepts. In the present lecture, I will first focus on the properties of linear DNA and show that critical exponents describing the divergence of the end-to-end distance can be determined from Atomic Force Microscopy images of DNA and that the end-to-end distance distribution as a function of the DNA length can also be determined. Then, the properties of knotted DNA in respect to the critical exponents and the localization of the knot crossings will be reported: I will show that probably two universality classes exist in this case and that localization of the knot crossings could explain the activity of the topoisomerases. At the end of the lecture, gel electrophoresis of DNA knots will be discussed and simulation as well as experiments will be presented where the knot complexity and its toopology play an essential role.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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