Biomathematics Emphasis Program at San Diego State University


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Rena Hermez


Rena Hermez§, Ilham Naili§, Anca Segall§, and Peter Salamon%.

Department of Biology§ and Department of Mathematics and Statistics%, San Diego State University

Antibiotic compounds such as Norfloxacin and Novobiocin interfere with the mechanism of bacterial Topoisomerase enzymes. When inhibition occurs, DNA is broken into fragments that can be separated by size using Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis. Scans of these gels reveal four pools of DNA: 1) the unbroken strands of DNA located in the wells of the gel; 2) relatively long fragments of DNA located near the top of the gel; 3) smaller fragments located in the ''middle'' of the gel; and 4) the very small DNA fragments that may have run out of the gel. The next step is to quantify these four pools of DNA. The ultimate goals are: 1) to model the extent of DNA breakage with different antibiotic treatments; and 2) to determine whether DNA breaks occur randomly or not.