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rn We have developed and used two binary chemical actinometers for sunlight measurements from 300 to 370 nm that have the great advantage of possessing adjustable quantum yields to provide half-lives ranging from a few minutes to several weeks in sunlight. One actinometer is the known p-nitroanisole (PNA)/pyridine (pyr) system in water, the half-life of(More)
RNA viruses have specific mutation rates that balance the conflicting needs of an evolutionary response to host antiviral defenses and avoidance of the error catastrophe. While most mutations are known to originate in replication errors, difficulties of capturing the underlying dynamics have left the mechanochemical basis of viral mutagenesis unresolved.(More)
To understand genomic processes such as transcription, translation or splicing, we need to be able to study their spatial and temporal organization at the molecular level. Single-molecule approaches provide this opportunity, allowing researchers to monitor molecular conformations, interactions or diffusion quantitatively and in real time in purified systems(More)
Numerous biophysical techniques such as magnetic tweezers, flow stretching assays, or tethered particle motion assays rely on the tracking of spherical beads to obtain quantitative information about the individual biomolecules to which these beads are bound. The determination of these beads' coordinates from video-based images typically forms an essential(More)
Magnetic tweezers are a powerful single-molecule technique that allows real-time quantitative investigation of biomolecular processes under applied force. High pulling forces exceeding tens of picoNewtons may be required, e.g. to probe the force range of proteins that actively transcribe or package the genome. Frequently, however, the application of such(More)
The bidirectional replication of a circular chromosome by many bacteria necessitates proper termination to avoid the head-on collision of the opposing replisomes. In Escherichia coli, replisome progression beyond the termination site is prevented by Tus proteins bound to asymmetric Ter sites. Structural evidence indicates that strand separation on the(More)
In all organisms, DNA molecules are tightly compacted into a dynamic 3D nucleoprotein complex. In bacteria, this compaction is governed by the family of nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs). Under conditions of stress and starvation, an NAP called Dps (DNA-binding protein from starved cells) becomes highly up-regulated and can massively reorganize the(More)
Transcription in RNA viruses is highly dynamic, with a variety of pauses interrupting nucleotide addition by RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). For example, rare but lengthy pauses (>20 s) have been linked to backtracking for viral single-subunit RdRps. However, while such backtracking has been well characterized for multi-subunit RNA polymerases (RNAPs)(More)
Replicative helicases load onto DNA at the start of replication, and play a vital role by driving the replication fork forward. These helicases assemble into closed multimeric rings that need to encircle single-stranded (ss)DNA to be activated. Though helicase loading on substrates with accessible free ends has been well characterized for the T7 gp4(More)
Superparamagnetic beads are widely used in biochemistry and single-molecule biophysics, but the nature of the anisotropy that enables the application of torques remains controversial. To quantitatively investigate the torques experienced by superparamagnetic particles, we use a biological motor to rotate beads in a magnetic field and demonstrate that the(More)