Very Tiny Knots in Nature

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Keller 3-180

Kenneth Millett (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Knotting and linking entanglement in living organisms are features that are visible to the careful observer of biological life. Since the 1970’s, with the increasing power of electron microscopes, scientists have been able to capture images of such structures in living organisms at near atomic levels. We will explore what has been learned about these biomolecules and their consequences for life at the cellular level leading to new strategies to treat certain diseases such as cancers. We will discuss the mathematics of knotting and linking entanglement that has been at the center of the research. Naturally, researchers are now focused on new challenging questions and new scientific mysteries.