macromolecules function at highly disparate scales in both space
and time. These differences in scale imply that mathematical
and numerical descriptions must be developed to focus on the
particular scale of the phenomenon of interest. For example,
one experimental motif for studying the sequence dependent mechanical
properties of DNA is mini-circles which are formed from a closed
loop of 100--200 base-pairs of the double helix. Numerical simulation
of such systems at full atomistic resolution is still beyond
current day capabilities, but as this image portrays, an approximate,
effective model based on a highly twisted elastic ribbon can
be developed to capture sequence-dependent effects.
Image by J.H. Maddocks, R.S. Manning, and R.C. Paffenroth. Click for higher resolution.