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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.


Speaker(s):

Professor Michael Thompson | talks

 

Date and Time:

24 May 2007 at 5:00 pm

Duration:

1 hour

 

Venue:

Millennium Mathematics Project
Centre For Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road
Cambridge
CB3 0WA
01223 766839
http://www.mmp.maths.org.uk

More at Millennium Mathematics Project...

 

Tickets:

Free!

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+

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