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Project for Research Experiences for Undergraduates

2012 Summer Program, June 11 - August 3, 2012

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Title: Modeling protein translation and genome evolution

Mentors: Dr. J.J. Chai (Mathematics) and Dr. Mike Gilchrist (Evolutionary Bioinformatics)

photo. Protein translation, an important step in gene expression that assembles the proteins used throughout the cell, is one of the most fundamental and conserved biological processes. Yet like all biological processes translation has intrinsic costs and processing errors. Due to redundancy inherent in the genetic code (e.g. codons GAA and GAG both code for glutamic acid), the evolution of coding sequences will be influenced by these costs and errors. The goal of this summer's research be to use mathematical models of the intra-ribosomal processes responsible for the costs and errors during protein translation in order to study the patterns found within the genomes of different organisms. The outcome of this work will be a better understanding of how the ribosome works and, in turn, our ability to extract information from genomic sequences.


Abstract of project report (PDF)

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NSF logo. NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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