Reza Ejtehadi, Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology
Nano-mechanics of DNA in Severe Conditions
DNA is perhaps the most important of all biomolecules, not only because it carries the genetic information of biological systems, but also because of its mechanical flexibility that helps its biological function. Thus, elasticity of DNA plays an important role in its biological function. It is well known that the molecule is usually found in very tight geometries. In eukaryotic cells, it fits inside micron-sized cell nuclei, or can be encapsulated and found in highly confined structures in viral capsids with a size comparable to its persistence length. Thus, understanding the structure of the molecule under such severe confinements and the way the molecule responds to these geometrical constraints, may help to understand DNA function better.