Universiteit Leiden

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Proefschrift

The mechanical genome : inquiries into the mechanical function of genetic information

The four possible segments A, T, C and G that link together to form DNA molecules, and with their ordering encode genetic information, are not only different in name, but also in their physical and chemical properties.

Auteur
M. Tompitak
Datum
11 oktober 2017
Links
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The four possible segments A, T, C and G that link together to form DNA molecules, and with their ordering encode genetic information, are not only different in name, but also in their physical and chemical properties. The result is that DNA molecules with different sequences have different physical behavior. For instance, one sequence may lead to a very flexible DNA molecule, another to a very stiff one. A DNA molecule with a given sequence may be straight, or intrinsically curved. This leads to an interplay between the information stored in a DNA molecule on one hand, and the physical properties of that molecule on the other. This is of great importance in our cells, where lengths of DNA far longer than the size of the cells that contain them need to be significantly folded up. The research presented in this thesis looks at how we can model this interplay, what its effects can be, and whether nature has made use of it to encode mechanical signals into real genomes.

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