Event Date Details:
Refreshments served at 3:40pm.
- Broida 1640
- Physics Colloquium
Protein microtubules organize space, support morphology and guide molecular motors in all eukaryotic cells. These roles are mission-critical for cell division. Evolution has, accordingly, tightly constrained microtubules. They exhibit a high degree of homology across all eukaryotic organisms, from yeast to human. Being thus a relatively primitive example of biomolecular machinery, microtubules are an excellent target for mimicry via de novo design.
In addition, many well-studied aspects of microtubules, such as their stiffness, stability, and dynamics of assembly, offer quantitative metrics for assessing mimics and testing models that motivate their design. I will describe our recent and ongoing efforts to build microtubules out of DNA and discuss the implications for improved understanding of biological design and enhanced capability in DNA nanotechnology.