Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How knots can swap positions on a DNA strand

Date:
July 3, 2014
Source:
Universität Mainz
Summary:
Physicists have been able with the aid of computer simulations to confirm and explain a mechanism by which two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions.

Schematic representation of the swapping event: one of the knots grows in size, while the other diffuses along the contour of the former.
Credit: Illustration by Peter Virnau

Physicists of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" (MAINZ) have been able with the aid of computer simulations to confirm and explain a mechanism by which two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions.

For this, one of the knots grows in size while the other diffuses along the contour of the former. Since there is only a small free energy barrier to swap, a significant number of crossing events have been observed in molecular dynamics simulations, i.e., there is a high probability of such interchange of positions.

"We assume that this swapping of positions on a DNA strand may also happen in living organisms," explained Dr. Peter Virnau of the JGU Institute of Physics, who performed the computer simulation together with his colleagues Benjamin Trefz and Jonathan Siebert.

The scientists expect that the mechanism may play an important role in future technologies such as nanopore sequencing, where long DNA strands are sequenced by being pulled though pores. Long DNA strands of more than 100,000 base pairs have an increasing chance of knots, which is relevant for sequencing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universität Mainz. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Trefz, J. Siebert, P. Virnau. How molecular knots can pass through each other. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; 111 (22): 7948 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319376111

Cite This Page:

Universität Mainz. "How knots can swap positions on a DNA strand." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703162308.htm>.
Universität Mainz. (2014, July 3). How knots can swap positions on a DNA strand. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703162308.htm
Universität Mainz. "How knots can swap positions on a DNA strand." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703162308.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins