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Challenging biological problems for physicists
Enrique Abad
German Research School for Simulation Sciences
Wed, Jun. 17th 2015, 11:15-12:15
SPEC Salle Itzykson, Bât.774, Orme des Merisiers

The aim of nanoscience is to develop devices at the molecular level capable of performing technologically interesting tasks, such as electron transport, chemical sensing, etc. However, a large number of molecular devices capable of perform these tasks have been already designed by nature in biological organisms.

On the other hand, molecular biology is at an stage that it can provide quantitative knowledge of the complex molecular reactions involved in cell metabolism. Knowledge about quantum and statistical physics is needed to understand these numbers and to provide accurate models of biological events.

The exponential growth of computational resources, as well as the development of physical methods aimed at exploding these resources [1,2] has made possible to simulate biological events, at several degrees of approximation, from coarse grained potentials to first principle simulations, improving the understanding of the underlying physics driving of these nature-made molecular machines, thus allowing us to exploit these designs in our man-made molecular devices.

In this seminar, I will provide an introduction to several biological problems where the use of physical tools is mandatory. In particular, I will focus in the role of H tunnelling in some enzymatic reactions [3,4], and on physical methods to enhance the configurational space sampling of intrinsically disordered proteins [5,6].


[1] A. D. Becke; J. Chem. Phys. 140, 18A301 (2014)
[2] L. Wang, R. A. Friesner, B. J. Berne; J. Phys. Chem. B 115 9431 (2011)
[3] E. Abad, R. K. Zenn, J. Kästner; J. Phys. Chem. B 117, 14238 (2013)
[4] E. Abad, J. B. Rommel, J. Kästner; J. Biol. Chem. 289, 13726 (2014)
[5] F. Musiani, E. Ippoliti, C. Micheletti, P. Carloni, S. Ciurli, Bichoemistry 52, 2949 (2013)
[6] F. Musiani, D. Dibenedetto, E. Abad, G. Rossetti, P. Carloni; in preparation

Contact : Preden Roulleau


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