A Search for the Physical Basis of the Genetic Code
Reference persons JACEK ADAM TUSZYNSKI
External reference persons Dr. Lloyd Demetrius, Max Planck Institute, Goettingen and Harvard University
Research Groups 28- biomedica
Thesis type THEORETICAL
Description DNA contains the genetic code, which provides complete information about the synthesis of proteins in every living cell. Each gene encodes for a corresponding protein but most of the DNA sequence is non-coding. In addition to this non-coding part of the DNA, there is another redundancy, namely a multiplicity of DNA triplets (codons) assigned to code for a given amino acid. In this project, we will investigate possible physical reasons for the coding redundancy exploring free energy considerations and abundance probabilities as potential insights. A new insight may be gained from the use of directional entropy, a more general concept than Boltzmann's entropy that is used in the second law of thermodynamics. According to the principles of directional entropy formulated by our collaborator, Dr. Demetrius, depending on the availability of resources, the value of directional entropy can increase or decrease in living systems. We will explore consequences of this conclusion in the case of the genetic code.
Required skills basic knowledge of biophysics and statistical mechanics
Deadline 24/11/2023 PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA