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This Week's Colloquium: Saveez Saffarian, Sept. 20, 2012

Saveez Saffarian
University of Utah

Thursday, Sept 20, 2012
102 JFB

Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)

Title: Biophysics of Enveloped Virus Assembly

Abstract:

In this talk I will show how an enveloped virus is practically a well packaged nano-machine that is optimized for delivery of a genome and maximum replication in the host. Viruses are varied in size and shape but are generally below 200nm in size. They also spend a good portion of their life cycle outside of the living cells. To prepare for the long exile and re entry to the new host, viruses package their proteins very meticulously. It is this packaging process that is the main focus of the research in my lab and I will highlight a few exotic mechanisms we have found recently that shed light on the complexity of this process.

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This Week's Colloquium: Michael Vershinin, Sept. 13, 2012

Michael Vershinin
University of Utah

Thursday, Sept 13, 2012
102 JFB

Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)

Title: Biophysics of Microtubule-Based Molecular Motors

Abstract:

Much of the motion observed in biology originates at a molecular level and can be traced to the functioning of just a few protein types often collectively referred to as molecular motors. The talk will specifically focus on processive microtubule-based motors responsible for most long distance transport inside eukaryotic cells. Such motors can be thought of as standalone mechanochemical machines but must also be understood in their native biological context. At present, neither function has a comprehensive quantitative description. The talk will discuss the challenges in the field, highlight our recent single molecule results contrasting single molecule function of kinesin and dynein motors and discuss their implications for microtubule-based transport in cells. I will also present our early efforts to study motor transport on complex filament networks. In addition, future directions and questions of interest will be briefly discussed.

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This Week's Colloquium: Andrey Rogachev, Sept 6, 2012

Andrey Rogachev
University of Utah

Thursday, Sept 6, 2012
102 JFB

Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)

Title: Superconductor – Insulator Transition in One-dimensional Nanowires

Abstract:

The properties of one-dimensional superconducting wires depend on physical processes with different characteristic lengths. To identify the process dominant in the critical regime we have studied the transport properties of very narrow (9–20 nm) MoGe wires fabricated by advanced electron-beam lithography in a wide range of length. We observed that the wires undergo a superconductor-insulator transition (SIT) that is controlled local processes. A qualitatively similar superconductor-insulator transition can be induced by an external magnetic field. Our results are not consistent with any currently known theory of the SIT. In the talk I will also briefly describe several collaborative projects that utilize the group expertise in nanofabrication and dynamical transport measurements.

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This Week's Colloquium: Christoph Boehme, Aug 30, 2012

Christoph Boehme
University of Utah

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012
102 JFB

Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)

Title: Spintronics of weakly spin-orbit coupled semiconductors

Abstract:

While the term "Spintronics" was originally introduced as label for technologies that represent information through spin states rather than charge states, it is nowadays oftentimes used solely in the context of spin-polarization, spin-injection, spin-transport and spin-orbit effects. Silicon and carbon based semiconductors display only weak spin-orbit coupling and - in the case of organic semiconductors - charge transport via hopping through strongly localized states. These materials appear at first glance therefore to be entirely unsuitable for spintronics. However, they also exhibit spin related effects not seen in materials with strong spin-orbit coupling which can be used for an alternative, radically different approach to spintronics which is based on spin-permutation symmetry states of charge carrier pairs rather than spin-polarization states. Reading spin-permutation symmetry is straight forward when pronounced spin-selection rules exist. In contrast to spin-polarization, permutation symmetry does not depend directly on temperature and magnetic field strength. Furthermore, the absence of spin-orbit coupling can also allow for long spin-coherence times and thus, the possibility to connect spintronics to an all spin based memory which could be important for spin-based quantum information concepts. While spin-orbit coupling is needed in traditional spintronics for electric field controlled spin-manipulation, low-spin-orbit coupled devices may achieve the same via electric field controlled spin-exchange interaction. In this talk, our work on the development of this alternative organic spintronics concept will be presented and the state of its experimental implementation will be discussed

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