RNA polymerase is an enzyme that catalyzes gene transcription, the first step in the process of turning a DNA sequence into proteins, the components of cellular machinery and structure. The journal, FEBS Letters, featured research led by Professor of Physics, Laura Finzi, showing how RNA polymerase navigates “roadblocks” along template DNA, that are composed of wraps and loops in the DNA created by DNA-binding proteins. … More How gene transcription navigates roadblocks
Assistant professor Daniel Weissman has received an NSF CAREER grant to study how pathogens evolve. Dr. Weissman’s group will use dynamical data from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to infer how viral mutations interact and will use sequencing data from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus to determine how gene exchange among different strains of bacteria drives their adaptation. … More Daniel Weissman earns NSF CAREER award to study pathogen evolution
Ilya Nemenman is one of only two recipients of this year’s Simons Investigators award for Theoretical Physics in Life Sciences, honoring “outstanding theoretical scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists.” The appointment is renewable, with an initial period … More Ilya Nemenman honored with Simons Investigators award
BY W.XU, D. DUNLAP, & L. FINZI (Pictured Left to Right: D. Dunlap, W. XU, L. Finzi) Our goal is to review the main theoretical models used to calculate free energy changes associated with common, torsion-induced conformational changes in DNA and provide the resulting equations hoping to facilitate quantitative analysis of both in vitro and … More Spotlight on “Energetics of twisted DNA topologies”
Journalists from The Scientist (www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/some-viruses-use-an-alternative-genetic-alphabet-68726) and Nature (www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01157-x) recently interviewed David Dunlap, PhD,. He was asked to comment on recent discoveries reported in three articles published in Scie nce on April 29, 2021 of 60 organisms whose genome contains diaminopurine (DAP) instead of adenine and enzymes responsible for incorporating DAP into DNA. For over forty … More The Scientist and Nature recently interviewed David Dunlap…
The dynamics of the neural activity of a mouse brain behave in a peculiar, unexpected way that can be theoretically modeled without any fine tuning, suggests a new paper by physicists at Emory University. Physical Review Letters published the research, which adds to the evidence that theoretical physics frameworks may aid in the understanding of … More Physicists develop theoretical model for neural activity of mouse brain
The New York Times recently published the article “The Skin-Deep Physics of Sidewinder Snakes” featuring our newest faculty member, Dr. Jennifer Rieser. The article’s focus is on how snake skin helped Dr. Rieser and other members of the team to understand how snakes move in different environments, such as on sand. They discovered that the … More NYT Posts Article Featuring New Faculty Member Dr. Jennifer Rieser
Kim group shows that power law tail in replication lag time underlies bacterial persistence Persisters are antibiotic-tolerant cells that can evade antibiotic killing by ceasing replication. They complicate antibiotic treatment, leading to treatment failure. Professor Minsu Kim and graduate student (now Ph.D.) Emrah Simsek quantitatively analyzed the non-replication periods of the persisters, and show that … More Kim group shows how power law tail in replication lag time underlies bacterial persistence
Prof. Nemenman reveals limits on precision of dynamic chemical sensing by biological cells. Living systems sense chemicals in their environment when the latter bind to their surface receptors. Such binding is subject to the shot noise, which limits the sensing precision. How precise is such sensing? This storied question was asked for the first time … More Prof. Nemenman reveals limits on precision of dynamic chemical sensing by biological cells.
The department of physics wants to welcome new assistant professor Shashank Shekhar. Shashank’s research areas include Molecular and Organismal Biophysics – Actin dynamics, Microfluidics, Phagocytosis, Intracellular manipulation and Collective behavior. To learn more about Shashank Shekhar please visit his faculty biography page. For a list of his full publications please visit his Google Scholar.