2015 BFY II Abstract Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Abstract Title: Tethered Particle Motion Experiments as a Gateway to Biophysics Research
Abstract: Tethered particle motion (TPM) is a technique used to study the mechanical properties of biological molecules like DNA. Setting up a TPM assay involves attaching one end of the DNA to a surface and the other end to a small bead (1 ┬Ám in diameter). Changes in the bead's position with time (due to displacement by Brownian motion) are then tracked using video microscopy and used to infer the length of the DNA. If a condensing agent is added, one can measure the rate of DNA condensation as the length decreases. In this lab, our goal is to use TPM to experimentally determine how long it takes to completely condense a strand of DNA in the presence of a condensing agent at a chosen concentration. Possible condensing agents include protamine, hexamminecobalt(III), spermidine, and spermine. Here, we will measure the condensation rate for protamine. Decreasing the concentration of the condensing agent will allow for open-ended research on the formation of the condensed structure. Combining this laboratory with the laboratories described in our other abstract, "Using Tethered Particle Motion Experiments in Statistical Mechanics or Biophysics Labs," will offer a gateway to biophysics research in the undergraduate laboratory.
Abstract Type: Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Obinna A. Ukogu
Amherst College
Merrill Science Center
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: 4135422949
and Co-Presenter(s)
Adam D. Smith, Amherst College
Ashley R. Carter, Amherst College

Presentation Documents

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster