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Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 11:30am - 12:30pm
Kenneth Millett (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Proteins are large macromolecules constituted by chains of amino acid residues to accomplish many biological tasks required by living organisms: catalyzing reactions, DNA replication and repair, and moving molecules around. Imagining how these protein molecules are formed (i.e. folded) into three-dimensional structures lead biologists to believe that their knotting was biologically impossible but, in fact, certain proteins do contain knotted features. How and why’’ provides another of the biological mysteries catalyzing contemporary research.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 11:30am - 12:30pm
Kenneth Millett (University of California, Santa Barbara)
The replication of DNA requires the assistance of topology changing enzymes called topoisomerases. Efforts to discover the mechanisms by which various enzymes act on DNA has focused attention on questions for which geometrical and topological considerations provide insights as well as raising new questions. In this first lecture, we will explore the biological context and the mathematics that continues to be employed to resolve these questions.
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