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DNA in our cells is constantly being replicated. This event takes several different strands of DNA research, such as the events that lead up to a cell dividing and the structure of RNAs and DNA, and winds them up into one big night of nucleic acids. We will also consider cutting edge approaches to use DNA-based structures to create more efficient methods for information storage in computing. Finally, the event will look at harnessing secondary structures naturally found in the body for other purposes.
DNA replication - Sustainable growth in Biology
Torsten Krude (Senior Lecturer, Department of Zoology)
Each cell in our bodies has one full complement of the genetic information required for us to develop, grow and live. It contains 2 meters of DNA, with 3 billion letters of information. I will outline how this information is organized as chromosomal DNA, how it fits into the tiny sphere of a cell, and how it is replicated so that each daughter cell receives a full copy during cell division.
Engineering DNA for computation and digital information storage
Pierre Murat (Researcher, Department of Chemistry)
The growing demands for computational ability and high-density storage systems have prompted researchers to explore alternatives to silicon-based digital computers. The parallelism of hybridization properties of DNA together with its high shelf life and compactness, has allowed DNA-based systems to rapidly progress from proof-of-concept studies toward systems that can rival established devices.
The big effects of small changes in the chemical structure of DNA
Alexandre Hofer (Researcher, Department of Chemistry)
Although the core genetic information stored in DNA remains unchanged, its chemical structure often undergoes small modifications. These subtle changes help living systems to control the use of different parts of their genetic information in different cells or life stages, as well as to adapt to changing environments. As a chemist, I try to develop a way to detect and further understand one such type of modifications.