Wednesday Afternoon, October 25

Topology of Macromolecules (Invited Minisymposium)

Macromolecules are large, flexible molecules which can assume a variety of configurations in response to thermal motion, solvent effects, interaction with other molecules, and experimental manipulation. The shape of these molecules can be critically important to chemical activity and biological function. Topological barriers between regions of conformation space can be calculated, and the thermodynamic and entropic effects of topological barriers can be computed, both rigorously in the asymptotic (length goes to infinity) case, and numerically in the range of small to medium-sized molecules. However, it is difficult to blend energetics with topological reasoning, but mathematical arguments which do this are beginning to emerge.

The speakers in this minisymposium will discuss topologically-based mathematical models of macromolecular shape and dynamics. Some of the topics they will discuss are of DNA to build 3-dimensional molecular cages with specified architecture, Monte Carlo numerical simulation and rigorous asymptotic proofs of topological entanglement in long polymers, the dynamics of long bacterial filaments, and the energies of knots and applications to DNA electrophoresis.

Organizer: De Witt L. Sumners
Florida State University

1:30 Control of DNA Structure and Topology
Nadrian C. Seeman, New York University

2:00 Random Knots and Links in Lattice Polygons
Stuart G. Whittington, University of Toronto, Canada

2:30 The Dynamics of Twist and Writhe
Michael Tabor, University of Arizona

3:00 Knot Type and Physical Behavior of DNA Loops
Jonathan K. Simon, University of Iowa

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