DNA stress and strain, in silico, in vitro and in vivo

David Levens, Craig J. Benham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A vast literature has explored the genetic interactions among the cellular components regulating gene expression in many organisms. Early on, in the absence of any biochemical definition, regulatory modules were conceived using the strict formalism of genetics to designate the modifiers of phenotype as either cis- or trans-acting depending on whether the relevant genes were embedded in the same or separate DNA molecules. This formalism distilled gene regulation down to its essence in much the same way that consideration of an ideal gas reveals essential thermodynamic and kinetic principles. Yet just as the anomalous behavior of materials may thwart an engineer who ignores their non-ideal properties, schemes to control and manipulate the genetic and epigenetic programs of cells may falter without a fuller and more quantitative elucidation of the physical and chemical characteristics of DNA and chromatin in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035011
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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