Monday, March 12, 2012 - 15:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Markus Nano Conference Rm. 1116
The viruses that infect bacteria have a hallowed position in the development of modern biology, and once inspired Max Delbruck refer to them as "the atom of biology". Recently, these viruses have become the subject of intensive physical investigation. Using single-molecule techniques, it is actually possible to watch these viruses in the act of packing and ejecting their DNA. This talk will begin with a general introduction to viruses and their life cycles and will then focus on simple physical arguments about the forces that attend viral DNA packaging and ejection, predictions about the ejection process and single-molecule measurements of ejection itself.