CHEM 430: Structure and Function of Nucleic Acids

  • Prerequisite: CHEM 233, CHEM 237, or NE 224
  • Textbook: TBA. The textbook material will be supplemented by review articles from the scientific literature on recent advances.

Nucleic Acids have in the past two decades moved into the focus of research in biochemistry and molecular biology. In addition to their classic role in genetics, both RNA and DNA have been shown to fulfill many surprising functions in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. This course will provide an overview of the structures and functions of nucleic acids. It will also cover an introduction to methods for the determination and prediction of DNA and RNA structures (x-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, cryo electron microscopy, computational methods). Additional topics will include: Biochemical methods for the study and production of of nucleic acids including in vitro selection, nucleic acids in medical applications, nucleic acid nanotechnology and the roles of nucleic acids in molecular biology. Students will also obtain experience in online resources for nucleic acid structure, function and design, as well as reading and presentation of papers from current scientific literature.

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