internship of 1 to 3 months, based in Paris, but with a trip planned to Pune, India in early december 2017.
profile seeked : undergraduate or graduate student with good programming skills (python / C)
Subject Keywords: emergence / RNA world / self-organization / secondary structure / origins of life
Tools and methodologies: The internship will be mostly a computational work. By performing numerical simulations, we aim to understand how biochemical conditions could affect the emergence of complexity in the RNA world. We also collaborate with colleagues who are experimentalists. They are based in Pune, India. During the internship, a trip to India is planned to visit them.
Summary of lab’s interests: In the lab, many of us are interested in morphogenesis and self organization. This internship will focus on self-organization at the molecular level: RNA bases polymerizing and forming secondary structures. A previous study [Derr et al. Nucleic acids research (2012)] shed light on the richness of the RNA world, and how complexity could emerge in RNA sequences. In this internship we want to go further by investigating the complexity of secondary structures because they are responsible for carrying catalytic activity which was necessary to arise at the origin of life.
Interdisciplinary aspect of the project: The core of the work will be dealing with computational simulations, but the RNA system will be studied from a physicist point of view as a dynamical system: bases polymerizing and depolymerizing following biochemical rules.