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Bioinformatics Forum: Molecular Recognition in Presence of Competition and Noise
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Yonathan Savir (Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute)
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Wednesday, 15.6.2011, 13:30
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Taub 701
Molecular recognition plays a key role in processing information in biological systems which rely on the ability of bio-molecules to specifically recognize each other. However, the crowded biological environment contains a vast variety of molecules that are often structurally similar and may compete with the "right" target. Thus, the recognition process is prone to false binding, which introduces errors and may impair the proper information flow and must be taken into account in the design and the evolution of molecular information channels. To evaluate the optimal design of a molecular recognizer, we formulated molecular recognition as a transmission of information via a noisy channel. Using this framework, I will discuss few essential molecular recognition systems: 1) Decoding of tRNA by the ribosome during translation 2) Homologous recombination, the process in which two identical or similar DNA molecules exchange genetic material and 3) CO2 fixation during photosynthesis which is mediated by the enzyme Rubisco, probably the most abundant protein on Earth.
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