Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Do you organise talks?

Register to tell us about them. The Lecture List is a great place to be listed, but it's also an easy place to upload your information to. It's very simple and costs nothing. Find out more


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

Twisting, Coiling, Knotting: Maths and DNA Replication

Free public maths lecture exploring the geometrical rules which underlie the transmission our genetic code

The proportions of a DNA molecule in a human cell are equivalent to a 2000-mile-long rope packed inside the Millennium Dome. When DNA replicates, it spins at an astonishing 10 turns per second. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that DNA can become highly twisted, super–coiled and even knotted! To understand this phenomenon, the molecular biologist must grapple with the mathematical concepts of twisting, writhing and knotting. Armed with this mathematical knowledge, researchers can even use an enzyme to tie a knot in the DNA molecule to discover more about its biochemistry.

In this highly-illustrated talk we will experiment with strings and rubber bands (bring your own!) to explore the geometrical rules which underlie the transmission our genetic code. You can view Professor Thompson’s other MMP lectures at ScienceLive: http://www.sciencelive.org.


Professor Michael Thompson | talks


Date and Time:

24 May 2007 at 5:00 pm


1 hour



Millennium Mathematics Project
Centre For Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road
01223 766839

More at Millennium Mathematics Project...




Available from:

Admission is FREE but by ticket only. Please email mmp@maths.cam.ac.uk for tickets, or call 01223 766839.

Additional Information:

Suggested age range: 16+

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund