Séminaire de Mathématique-Biologie

Another use of Symmetry in Biology: What causes mutations in us Humans and in the COVID virus?

by Prof. Konstantin Khrapko (Department of Biology, Northeastern University)

Amphithéâtre Léon Motchane (IHES)

Amphithéâtre Léon Motchane


Le Bois-Marie 35, route de Chartres 91440 Bures-sur-Yvette

The common knowledge is that mutations in genomes are caused by the mistakes of the Polymerase, the enzyme responsible for copying DNA (or RNA). However,  errors of polymerase must be symmetrical with respect to the change of the DNA or RNA strand. Surprisingly, mutations in the Human DNA Genome and in the RNA genome of the notorious SARS Cov2 virus are drastically asymmetric. We will discuss how this asymmetry of mutations helps to pinpoint the real cause of mutations in these genomes - chemical damage of DNA or RNA, and mechanisms whereby this damage actually causes mutations.

Organized by

Nadya Morozova