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Saray Shai; Kelly M. Thayer; Michael P. Weir


Computer Science


The ribosome is a biological machine which translates mRNA into protein, at the rate of one amino acid from a decoded codon every tenth of a second. Computational chemists have developed a technique called Molecular Dynamics (MD), which allows molecular behaviour to be explicitly modeled and calculated on the nanosecond timescale using computers.

For my thesis, I used the AMBER MD framework to model the ribosome’s catalytically active core, to evaluate the feasibility of potential mRNA-rRNA interaction during ribosomal translocation. In this thesis, I give an overview on how modern MD programs calculate molecular behaviour in an efficient manner, and MD's application to our ribosomal model system of interest.

Additionally, I give an overview of how statistical biasing techniques like UMBRELLA Sampling, WHAM, and Partial Nudged Elastic Band are used to generalize conclusions from nanosecond-level calculations to second-level biological processes, again with applications to the ribosome.

Available for download on Saturday, June 01, 2024



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