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In cells, DMA is surrounding by various kinds of biogenic cations. Using single-molecule magnetic tweezers, we have discovered that (i) varying cation concentrations can transform DNA among three structures under high tension; (ii) high-valent cations affect the elasticities of DNA and RNA in opposite manners; (iii) cytosine methylation enhances DNA condensation in the presence of high-valent cations. Recently, these findings have been published in two PNAS papers, one JACS paper, and one PRL paper.
Prof Xinghua Zhang received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009. He worked in Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology as a Research Scientist from 2010 to 2015. He joined the College of Life Sciences at Wuhan University as a Professor in 2016. His research focuses on DNA repair, r-loops and DNA dynamics at the single-molecule level.
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