SpeakerDmitrii E Makarov
Date and LocationWednesday May 27, 2015 11:00am to 12:00pm
In the past two decades, single-molecule experiments have evolved from being state-of-the-art prof-of-principle demonstrations to nearly routine tools of modern biophysics, enabling one, for example, to monitor molecular processes directly as they unravel in the cell. Yet because of the relative sluggishness of the common probes, deciphering single-molecule signals to infer molecular motion remains an elusive goal. In this talk I will report on our recent efforts toward this goal and, in particular, will focus on how intrinsic intramolecular dynamics of proteins and nucleic acids can be deduced from the movement of a micrometer-sized force probe in single-molecule force spectroscopy studies. Curiously, accomplishing this seemingly pragmatic task turns out to be intimately connected to a fundamental (and until recently unsolved) problem of activated barrier crossing on multidimensional free energy landscapes.