Computer simulations show how two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions
Physicists of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Graduate School of Excellence “Materials Science in Mainz” (MAINZ) have been able with the aid of computer simulations to confirm and explain a mechanism by which two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions.
Schematic representation of the swapping event: one of the knots grows in size, while the other diffuses along the contour of the former.
ill./©: Peter Virnau, JGU
For this, one of the knots grows in size while the other diffuses along the contour of the former. Since there is only a small free energy barrier to swap, a significant number of crossing events have been observed in molecular dynamics simulations, i.e., there is a high probability of such interchange of positions.
“We assume that this swapping of positions on a DNA strand may also happen in living organisms,” explained Dr. Peter Virnau of the JGU Institute of Physics, who performed the computer simulation together with his colleagues Benjamin Trefz and Jonathan Siebert.
The scientists expect that the mechanism may play an important role in future technologies such as nanopore sequencing, where long DNA strands are sequenced by being pulled though pores. Long DNA strands of more than 100,000 base pairs have an increasing chance of knots, which is relevant for sequencing.
Benjamin Trefz, Jonathan Siebert, Peter Virnau
How molecular knots can pass through each other
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 19 May 2014
Dr. Peter Virnau
Condensed Matter Theory Group (KOMET)
Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-20493
fax +49 6131 39-20496
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/17448_ENG_HTML.php - press release
Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London
In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings
20.02.2018 | University of Cambridge
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering