Pulling single biomolecules apart: Observations and Theory

Biological Physics Seminar - Fall 2009

"Pulling single biomolecules apart: Observations and Theory"

Olga Dudko

Univ. of California at San Diego
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Location: Biodesign B105
Time: 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Host: Robert Ros
Recent advances in biophysical techniques enable experimentalists to exert forces on individual molecules and observe their response in real time. With the spectacular resolution of piconewton forces and sub-nanometer distances, single-molecule manipulation experiments reveal details that are typically lost to ensemble averaging when studied by traditional \"bulk\" methods. However, interpretation of the experimental observables in terms of the underlying molecular interactions and structures is a challenging task. I will present a theory of single-molecule force spectroscopy, and illustrate the use of the theory by analyzing the nanopore unzipping of individual DNA hairpins, unfolding of single protein molecules with an atomic force microscope, and other experiments.


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