Biomathematics Seminar: Double-strand breaks in a model of DNA damage and repair
26 February 2014 16:30 in CM105
Due to environmental factors and normal metabolic processes inside the cell, DNA damage in our body occurs at rate 10^4-10^6 lesions per cell per day. While this constitutes less than 0.0002% of the human genome, unrepaired lesions in critical genes can have impact on a cell's functionality and increase the likelihood of tumor formation.
In this talk, I will introduce a stochastic model of DNA damage and repair and will study statistical properties of the time until the double-strand break, a particularly hazardous damage which can lead to genome rearrangement. The model exhibits a phase transition described in terms of the ratio of the damage and repair rates. In the subcritical region of the parameter space, when this ratio is smaller than a critical value, the system shows a metastable behaviour and the distribution of the corresponding time is approximately exponential. On the other hand, in the supercritical region, the distribution of the time to double-strand break is approximately half-normal.
Note unusual day and time. The seminar will follow the MSc in Biophysical Sciences presentations for the module `Communicating Science'
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