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Toward Self-Replication with Colloids
9-Jul-2009 13:03 13:03
Age: 11 yrs


Toward Self-Replication with Colloids


Presentation 1: 
"Toward Self-Replication with Colloids"
Paul M. Chaikin (Invited Professor 2009 - UPEMLV)
Centre for Soft Condensed Matter Research, Physics Department

New York University, New York, NY

We want to make a non-“biological” system which can self-replicate. The idea is to design colloids with specific and reversible and irreversible interactions, introduce seed motifs, and cycle the system in such a way that a copy is made. Repeating the cycle would double the number of  offspring in each generation leading to exponential growth. We're not  there yet! We use colloidal particles with bound DNA sequences for  reversible recognition. DNA allows us to independently fine tune the strength  and the temperature dependence of the interparticle interactions. They now "work" - recognize, cycle and can be permanently attached as well. We also found that using DNA palindromes with hairpins allows additional control over the systems. These self protected colloids are inert, with latent attractive interactions which only come into play when the particles are held together. This is effectively a “nano contact glue”. The talk will be on where we are, how we got there and where we're going. 

Biographical data: Paul Chaikin, a specialist in condensed matter physics, joined NYU in Fall 2004 as a Professor in the Department of Physics. He graduated Stuyvesant H. S. (1962) and earned his B.S. in Physics at California Institute of Technology (1966) and his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania (1971). Previous professorships include the University of California, Los Angeles; University de Paris, Sud. Orsay; the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton. Dr. Chaikin has also worked as a Research Associate and Consultant for Exxon Research and Engineering Co and the NEC Institute. He has published over 300 articles in journals such as Physics Review, the Journal of Material Science, Physical Review Letters, Journal of Physics, Nature and Science, and he coauthored the book Principles of Condensed Matter Physics with T.C. Lubensky (Cambridge University Press 1995). Dr. Chaikin has served on the editorial boards of numerous refereed journals, and he has lectured at over 200 meetings and at over 200 universities and labs and has registered two patents. Dr. Chaikin has been honored with a Sloan Foundation Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science.



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