Physical Models of Viruses

Mrs. Bruinsma

The talk will review recent progress in analytical and numerical descriptions of the physical properties of viruses.A virus consists -minimally - of a protein shell surrounding the RNA or DNA genome. A virus is a testing ground for multi-scale modeling since the number of constituent molecules (proteins plus genome) is limited and their structure is, in many cases, precisely known. Moreover, the physical properties of viruses can now be probed by nano-indentation studies. A combination of coarse-grained numerical models of the proteins with continuum elasticity theory has been successfull in addressing questions such as the origin of icosahedral symmetry and the buckling transition.

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