Rice University – Wiess School of Natural Sciences presents Rice Science Café: How the wonderful biological molecular machines work. Tuesday, May 6 at 6:30pm at Black Labrador Pub, Churchill Room, 4100 Montrose Blvd. FEATURING: José Onuchic (pictured) Professor of Physics, Rice University, Co-Director, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics.
It is amazing how cells have created a number of molecular machines specialized for undertaking tasks needed to control and maintain cellular functions with exquisite precision. Nonetheless, biological machines are fundamentally different from conventional machines we use in the macroscopic world. Biological machines undergo shape changes triggered by their environment.
Therefore we can explain how they behave using ideas borrowed from physics and chemistry. This “new view” allows us to think about molecular motors from a structural perspective and makes predictions that can be tested experimentally. The protein, kinesin, is an example of such a molecular nanomotor that we have come to understand by this approach.
These concepts should allow us to better exploit the capabilities of these machines of nature and adapt them for novel purposes.
The Rice Science Café is a meeting where for the price of a cup of coffee or tea, a glass of wine or beer, anyone can come explore and debate the latest ideas in science and technology.
A science café's casual meeting place, plain language, and inclusive conversation create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for people with no science background. A scientist gives a brief presentation on an interesting topic in their area of expertise to kick off the discussion.