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Physics Colloquium

Monday, 02 December, 2013

The Neutron- and Computation-Based Biomembranes Program at ORNL

John Katsaras
Oak Ridge National Laboratory/UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences

Understanding biological membranes - their structure, dynamic behavior and function - stands as a grand scientific challenge. Membranes also happen to be intrinsically disordered assemblies, making them unsuitable for study by classical structural methods, such as x-ray crystallography. As a result, multiple experimental approaches must be applied to address the challenges they present. Recognizing the potential impact of biomembranes science, ORNL has made strategic investments toward the creation of a world-leading program in neutron- and computation-based biomembranes research. This program is focused on model systems that can be interrogated through neutron scattering, as well as other analytical methods, and are in most cases amenable to molecular simulations. Ultimately, the program aims to understand, predict and control the emergent behaviors in functional membrane systems. Today's seminar will present recent examples, which will illustrate the science presently undertaken by the Biomembranes Program.




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