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Invited Speaker RNA and DNA, In and Out of Viral Capsids

TitleInvited Speaker RNA and DNA, In and Out of Viral Capsids
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGelbart, WM
JournalBiophysical Journal

The genomes of the large majority of viruses are either single-stranded (ss) RNA or double-stranded (ds) DNA. This talk discusses the qualitatively different physical properties of these two molecules, and how they account for the qualitatively different genome packaging and delivery mechanisms of ssRNA and dsDNA viruses. The molecular sizes and shapes depend strongly on the degree and nature of secondary and tertiary structure, which are investigated by analytical and computational theory and by several experimental techniques including small-angle X-ray scattering, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy. Effects of di- and poly- valent cations, and of nucleotide sequence, are explicitly considered.


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