HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Alex Klotz

California State University, Long Beach

Materials Physics with Kinetoplast DNA

Feb. 2, 2021

The biological world is the source of many materials with exotic or desirable properties. Among these, DNA molecules have served as a model system to study the physics of polymers on the single-molecule level. A kinetoplast is an exotic form of DNA, found in certain tropical parasites, that consists of thousands of circular molecules topologically linked together like a sheet of chainmail armor. I will discuss the motivation and path that lead me to study kinetoplast DNA, some recent and ongoing experimental results, and what we can learn about the physics of two-dimensional materials and mechanically-interlocked chemical bonds from studying these DNA structures.