Unveiling Physics in Biology by Manipulation of Single Molecules

CIC nanoGUNE Seminars

J. Ricardo Arias-Gonzalez, IMDEA-Nanociencia, Madrid, Spain
nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian
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Unveiling Physics in Biology by Manipulation of Single Molecules We work in the field of Molecular and Cell Biophysics, furthering the study of the macromolecules that make up the machinery of cells. Our laboratory attempts to increase the understanding of the molecules of life beyond the biochemical viewpoint. Biological molecules have traditionally been studied with bulk biochemical methods, where a large number of these are analyzed simultaneously. These macroscopic experiments provide ensemble and time averages of the individual characteristics of each molecule. The set of deterministic properties and slow variation thus obtained result in an idealized image, that is, molecules with slow and well defined dynamics. Yet at the level of individual molecules, the picture is very different: one can find them in states that are far from the average behavior of the population, and their instantaneous dynamics are rapid and highly random. In this seminar we will first analyze the nanotools that we have already developed and those that are currently in progress. These techniques are thought to manipulate, both in vitro and in vivo, biomolecular particles by means of electromagnetic fields (optical tweezers and magnetic manipulation). In a second part, we will focus on the specific biophysical research lines of our laboratory, which have to do with three fundamental scale levels in Biology, namely, the levels of the molecule, the organelle and the cell. We will present our work in structural transitions of Nucleic Acids, molecular motors and electrophysiology of organelles.