Modesto Orozco, University of Barcelona<br/><br/>Exploring the flexibility of nucleic acids

Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 3:00pm - 3:45pm
EE/CS 3-180
Douglas Arnold (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Nucleic acids are very flexible structures whose conformation can be adapted in response to chemical and mechanical stress. Such perturbation can be of two types: i) large transitions that lead to helical unfolding and ii) small perturbations that can be fitted to harmonic deformation modes. I will present theoretical studies on both type of distortions, making an special emphasis on harmonic deformations, since these can be well represented by means of the analysis of covariance matrices (Cartersian, mass-weigthed Cartesian or helical) obtained from database analysis or from extended molecular dynamics simulations. I will show how these simple harmonic deformations can explain many physical and even biological properties of nucleic acids.