DNA Breathing Dynamics in the Presence of a Terahertz Field
A scientific study on the effects of terahertz radiation (used in some body scanner imaging systems).
We consider the influence of a terahertz field on the breathing dynamics of double-stranded DNA. We model the spontaneous formation of spatially localized openings of a damped and driven DNA chain, and find that linear instabilities lead to dynamic dimerization, while true local strand separations require a threshold amplitude mechanism. Based on our results we argue that a specific terahertz radiation exposure may significantly affect the natural dynamics of DNA, and thereby influence intricate molecular processes involved in gene expression and DNA replication.
Subjects: Biological Physics (physics.bio-ph); Computational Physics (physics.comp-ph)
Journal reference: Physics Letters A, Volume 374, Issue 10, 2010