||The four possible segments
A, T, C and G that link together to form DNA molecules, and with their ordering
encode genetic information, are not only different in name, but also in their
physical and chemical properties. The result is that DNA molecules with
different sequences have different physical behavior. For instance, one
sequence may lead to a very flexible DNA molecule, another to a very stiff one.
A DNA molecule with a given sequence may be straight, or intrinsically curved.
This leads to an interplay between the information stored in a DNA molecule on
one hand, and the physical properties of that molecule on the other. This is of
great importance in our cells, where lengths of DNA far longer than the size of
the cells that contain them need to be significantly folded up. The research
presented in this thesis looks at how we can model this interplay, what its
effects can be, and whether nature has made use of it to encode mechanical
signals into real genomes.