The Physical Genome
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Series
Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Description:The ability to read the sequence of genes and genomes has transformed the face of biology. However, as part of the copying, storage, transfer and reading of the genetic information they harbor, genomes are subject to constant physical manipulation. In this talk, I will describe two case studies that illustrate the rich interplay between the information content of genomes and their behavior as physical objects. The first example will focus on how the genomes of viruses are packed within the tiny confines of the viral capsid and how that DNA comes out again once the virus infects a host. The second example will focus on how the folding and unfolding of genomes dictates when the information content of their genes can be read out.