Workshop – Knots and Links in Biological and Soft Matter Systems

Lynn Zechiedrich

Speaker: Lynn Zechiedrich
(CEO, Twister Biotech / Professor, Dept of Pathology and Immunology Baylor College of Medicine, USA)

Date & Time: September 26th-30th, 2016

Venue: ICTP – LB (Budinich Lecture Hall)
Strada Costiera, 11 I – 34151 Trieste (Italy)

In recent years the problem of biomolecular knotting has attracted more and more interest across different scientific disciplines. This is largely due to the advancement of single-molecule manipulation techniques, which have provided unprecedented quantitative insight into the ubiquity of various form of topological entanglement, especially knots, in biomolecules.

The wealth of available experimental data has, in turn, accelerated much activity on the theoretical and modelling side aimed at understanding the general mechanisms that govern the dynamic formation of knots and links in biopolymers as well as understanding their biological implications.

The workshop will focus on:

1) the active and passive molecular mechanisms adopted by living organisms to deal with the self- and mutual-entanglement that inevitably arises in the “molecules of life” (DNA, RNA and proteins) inside the crowded cellular environment;

2) the significant advancements in the design of synthetic molecular constructs capable of attaining novel topologies, particularly knotted ones;

3) soft-matter systems where the knotted or linked structures are not of molecular origin.

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