Universiteit Leiden

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This Week's Discoveries | 21 May 2019

21 May 2019
This Week's Discoveries
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
De Sitterzaal

First lecture

Factoring in number rings

Peter Koymans (MI)
Peter is a PhD student in number theory in the Algebra, Geometry and Number Theory cluster of MI (supervisors Jan-Hendrik Evertse en Peter Stevenhagen). He is the winner of the PhD prize 2019 of the ÒKoninklijk Wiskundig GenootschapÓ. Peter will defend his thesis on June 19 and then leave for postdoc positions in the Max Planck Institute in Bonn and the University of Michigan.

The fundamental theorem of arithmetic states that every positive integer can uniquely be factored as a product of primes. Nowadays, factoring plays an important role in many fields of mathematics ranging from number theory to cryptology. In this talk we study factorization properties of other rings than the integers. Factorizations may no longer be unique in this new setting. We then introduce the class group, which measures the failure of unique factorization, and discuss its statistical properties.

Second lecture

A squid's secret to success

Maarten Lubbers (Bachelor student Biologie) and Tobi Fecker (Master student Biology) on behalf of iGEM team Leiden

Suckerin is a protein from the sucker ring teeth in the tentacles of the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas). The protein can exist in various forms, which have been found to have many exciting properties. As a material, suckerin can be strong and tough, while remaining flexible and mouldable at the same time. The molecules contain relatively simple amino acids repeats, which makes it easier to synthesize in bacteria like Escherichia coli.  The exciting and innovative part of this protein and project lies in the large potential. There are many applications that are in need of new and improved materials, ranging from biomedical tools and regenerative medicine to the creation of better plastics to fight the increasing burden on the environment. The iGEM team from Leiden is focussing on the production of suckerin in E. coli and exploring what applications could benefit from this interesting material.

Read more about the lecture series This Week's Discoveries

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