Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars

Return to Colloquia & Seminar listing

Using knot theory to understand DNA structure and function.


Speaker: David Letscher, UCSD
Location: 693 Kerr
Start time: Mon, May 10 1999, 4:10PM

During the life span of bacterial its DNA can form knots and links. In particular, during replication the duplicate copy of the DNA strand links itself to the original. A model will be given for how topoisomerases can recognize knotting or linking from purely local information and through a series of crossing changes produce the unknot or unlink. Studying these biological processes has also led to some conjectures in knot theory that will be discussed.