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Mathematical Sciences Colloquium by Eric Rawdon
Friday, Apr 28, 2017
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Location: FO 2.702

Eric Rawdon

Department of Mathematics

University of St. Thomas

Knotting in open chains, closed chains, and proteins

Some proteins (in their folded functional form) are classified as being knotted.  The function of protein knotting is mysterious since knotting seemingly would make the folding process unnecessarily complicated.  To function, proteins need to fold quickly and reproducibly, and misfolding can have catastrophic results.  For example, mad cow disease and the human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, come from misfolded proteins.  We hope to understand knotting in proteins to make the world a better place.

Proteins have two free ends, as do most of the objects humans consider as being knotted (like shoelaces and garden hoses).  However, mathematically, knotting is only defined for closed curves.  Defining knotting in open curves, like proteins, is tricky and ambiguous, but we will give it a try.  In particular, in this seminar we will talk about mathematical knots, knots in nature, knots in open curves, and knots in proteins.

Link to Eric’s Research Gate page:


Sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Sciences

Contact Info:
Viswanath Ramakrishna, 972-883-6873
Questions? Email me.

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