The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: DNA Folding on the Fly


Friday, February 9, 2018 - 12:00pm


Professor Ashley Carter, Amherst College


Gunness Student Center, Marcus Hall



DNA is a well-known biomolecule with a double helix structure. Recently, DNA has been folded into a wide variety of 2D and 3D shapes beyond the double helix, producing interesting materials for engineering or pharmaceutical purposes. However, once assembled, the folded DNA shapes are fixed. Our goal is to investigate the how DNA folds so that we can engineer ways for DNA to change shape on the fly. One promising protein, called protamine, has the ability to dramatically loop the DNA into a series of toroids. In this talk, I will present some of the first measurements of protamine looping and discuss the mechanics of how this simple protein could be used to create exciting nanostructures that fold on cue.