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Title: Tops and writhing DNA
Authors: Samuel, J.
Sinha, Supurna
Keywords: Tops
Thermal fluctuations
Torsional elasticity of polymers
Issue Date: Apr-2011
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Journal of Statistical Physics, 2011, Vol.143, p399
Abstract: The torsional elasticity of semiflexible polymers like DNA is of biological significance. A mathematical treatment of this problem was begun by Fuller using the relation between link, twist and writhe, but progress has been hindered by the non-local nature of the writhe. This stands in the way of an analytic statistical mechanical treatment, which takes into account thermal fluctuations, in computing the partition function. In this paper we use the well known analogy with the dynamics of tops to show that when subjected to stretch and twist, the polymer configurations which dominate the partition function admit a local writhe formulation in the spirit of Fuller and thus provide an underlying justification for the use of Fuller’s “local writhe expression” which leads to considerable mathematical simplification in solving theoretical models of DNA and elucidating their predictions. Our result facilitates comparison of the theoretical models with single molecule micromanipulation experiments and computer simulations
Description: Restricted Access. An open-access version is available at (one of the alternative locations)
ISSN: 1572-9613 (Online)
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Copyright: 2011 Springer Science
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (TP)

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