V001 / JSI / T2


Members of the Jožef Stan Institute’s Department of Theoretical Physics (F1), Luca Tubiana and Rudolf Podgornik, as well as a former members Anze Losdorfer Bozic and Christian Micheletti of La Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA) in Trieste, have recently published a paper entitled Synonymous Mutations Reduce Genome Compactness in Icosahedral ssRNA Viruses in the latest issue of Biophysical Journal (108 194–202 2015). The paper discusses the effect of synonymous mutations – mutations that do not change the protein complement – on the size of the folded RNA molecule, proving that even a very restricted phase space of synonymous mutations is still rich enough to support variations in the size of the RNA. The paper was also featured on the cover of the journal and commented on in the “New & Notable” section of the journal by A. Ben-Shaul and W.M. Gelbarta, "Viral ssRNAs Are Indeed Compact”. The paper was also featured on the blog phys.org as well as several other science news outlets.