Mathematical Representations of Ciliate Genome Decryption

Posted on February 19th, 2013 by

DesMoinesCroppedWhen: Thursday, February 28 @ 11:30am

Where: Olin Hall Room 320

Presenter: Helen Wauck, Junior Mathematics & Computer Science Major

Ciliates are unique unicellular organisms that each contain a scrambled version of their own DNA which must be unscrambled for proper gene expression. Ciliates have developed three DNA operations for this purpose: reversals, block interchanges, and excisions. Using integer permutations to represent scrambled DNA segments, we can develop a simple mathematical model for each of these operations. This model can be enhanced by visualizing permutations of integers as directed graphs. Our study of ciliate DNA operations using these numeric and visual representations has yielded a number of curious insights into the mechanics of ciliate genome unscrambling. This talk will examine some of our mathematical findings and their biological implications.

Lunch will be served.

This presentation is part of the MCS Seminar series; please see the calendar of upcoming events.


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