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How Biomolecules Behave in a Squeeze

Date: 
Monday, November 20, 2017 -
11:00 to 12:00
Speaker: 
Dr. Sabrina Leslie
Affiliation: 
Department of Physics, McGill University
Event Category: 
Special - Event
Location: 
Chemistry D200

How biomolecules behave in a squeeze  – whether in response to confining walls or crowding agents, or inherent to molecular topologies – presents an open territory of exploration. For instance, a major focus of my research is to visualize and understand elusive interactions between unwinding sites on supercoiled DNA and small molecules, which ultimately could help us understand how genes are regulated. Throughout our observations of single-molecule binding and diffusive trajectories, the molecules are free to explore all possible configurations, which we show has crucial influence over the dynamics. Beyond topology-mediated DNA interactions, we are applying confinement-based techniques to visualize a wide range of interacting systems that are challenging or impossible to access with other methods, including protein-protein and nanoparticle interactions.