British Universities Film & Video Council

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Twisting, Coiling , Knotting: Maths and Dna Replication

Synopsis
The proportions of a DNA molecule in a human cell are equivalent to a 2000-mile-long rope packed inside the Millennium Dome. When DNA replicates, it spins at an astonishing 10 turns per second. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that DNA can become highly twisted, super-coiled and even knotted. To understand this phenomenon, the molecular biologist must grapple with the mathematical concepts of twisting, writhing and knotting. Armed with this mathematical knowledge, researchers can even use an enzyme to tie a knot in the DNA molecule to discover more about its biochemistry.

In this highly-illustrated talk Michael Thompson experiments with strings and rubber bands to explore the geometrical rules which underlie the transmission of our genetic code.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2010
Year of production
2010
Subjects
Biology; Mathematics
Keywords
applied mathematics; DNA; genetic code; geometry; knots; molecular biology; coils

Online availability

URI
http://mediaplayer.group.cam.ac.uk/component/option,com_mediadb/task,view/idstr,CU-MichaelThompson-DNA/Itemid,26
Price
free
Delivery
Streamed/Download

Credits

Contributor
Michael Thompson

Distributor

Name

University of Cambridge CUSP/BluSci

Record Stats

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