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\title{What if DNA Lived on a Lattice?}
\author{Abdulmajed Dakkak}
\date{June 10th, 2008}
\begin{document}
\maketitle
\begin{quote}
These are my notes based on the lecture by Dr. Zoie Raputi on June
10th, 2008. Please email me with corrections if mistakes are
found.
\end{quote}
In this talk the presenter simplifies the DNA model by assuming
that they live on a lattice. After defining legal local moves, the
presenter is interested in the speedup achieved if such moves are
allowed to be executed in parallel.
\section{The DNA}
DNA is the blueprint that instructs the cells how to replicate. It
is composed of a combination of phosphates and sugar, with bases
that, for simplicity, reside on top of the sugars. Such bases are
called \emph{monomers} and come in four types --- Adenine, Thymine,
Guanine, and Cytosine. The two basis Adenine and Thymine bond to
create a \emph{weak} pair composed of two hydrogen bonds. The
\emph{stronger} pair is composed of 3 hydrogen bonds and is
composed of Guanine and Cytosine.
It is known from experiments that if the DNA is single stranded and
a periodic, then it can loop onto itself. If such loops occur, then
they are called either \emph{hairpins} or
\emph{stem-loop structures}. It is worth mentioning that loops are
not a strange phenomenon in DNA, as they only lasts for a few
milliseconds --- although some believe that continuous oscillation
occurs. The figure bellow shows a single stranded DNA in open (or
coil) state on the left, and a strand of DNA in closed (or native)
state on the right. These correspond to the kinetics of the DNA
strand.
\includegraphics[scale=0.15]{graphics/hairpins.png}
\section{The Lattice}
The presenter simplifies the DNA onto a lattice considering both a
cubical and hexagonal lattice in 2 and 3 space. She then defines
what local moves and configurations are legal, and which are not.
Such moves are influenced by how DNA behaves at the microscopic
level. One constraint is the so called \emph{stiffness constrain}.
It states that the angle between two consecutive bond (edges in the
lattice) must be larger than $120^\circ$.
\subsection{Square Lattice}
The square lattice is the simplest lattice to discritize the DNA
on. There are only two directions $x_1$ and $x_2$ (the inverse
directions $x^{-1} = x_1$ and $y^{-1} = y_1$ being trivial due to
the symmetry of the square). Since no restriction is placed on the
configuration, all words are considered legal.
\includegraphics[scale=0.3]{graphics/square.png}
\subsection{Cubic Lattice}
The cubical lattice contains three directions $x, y,$ and $z$. The
inverses are again trivial to deduce, and, since no restriction is
placed on the placement of the DNA, all words are legal.
\includegraphics[scale=0.3]{graphics/cube.png}
If we consider the 2-dimensional cubic lattice where the directions
$x, y,$ and $z$ form $0^\circ, 60^\circ$, or $120^\circ$. In this
case some words are not allowed since they conflict with our
stiffness constraint. One can enumerate all the legal words in this
lattice and get:
\begin{verbatim}
xy yx
yz zy
\end{verbatim}
It is easy to see how one can get this if we represent $x$, $y$ and
$z$ as vectors in $\mathbb{R}^2$. $x = \langle 1, 0 \rangle$,
$y = \langle \frac{1}{2}, \frac{\sqrt{3}}{2} \rangle$, and
$z = \langle \frac{-1}{2}, \frac{\sqrt{3}}{2} \rangle$
If we consider the 3-dimensional cubical lattice, there are are a
total of 6 directions $x_i$ for $i = 0, 1, \cdots, 6$. The first
three are planer and are the same as the 2-dimensional cubical
lattice case. The other three spring out of two dimensions and are
$\langle \frac{-1}{2}, \frac{-1}{2\sqrt{3}}, \frac{\sqrt{2}}{\sqrt{3}} \rangle$,
$\langle \frac{1}{2}, \frac{-1}{2\sqrt{3}}, \frac{\sqrt{2}}{\sqrt{3}} \rangle$,
and
$\langle 0, \frac{1}{\sqrt{3}}, \frac{\sqrt{2}}{\sqrt{3}} \rangle$
.
\section{Allowable Moves}
\end{document}