The aim of this project is to investigate why minerals can stabilize DNA across space and time and how to utilize that knowledge for the research field of sedimentary ancient DNA. You will be using liquid cell atomic force microscopy in combination with other nano to microlevel and bulk approaches to probe the underlying mechanisms driving DNA preservation and degradation when associated with different mineral surfaces. You will perform in-situ degradation experiments by e.g. introducing enzymes and study the degradation and stability of the DNA-mineral interactions in a range of environmental relevant conditions. You will also probe molecule-mineral binding forces and general adsorption behaviours. You will have the possibility to be involved in protein-mineral stabilization studies and to partake in understanding bacterial preference toward different natural surfaces in relation to understanding biofilm propagation.
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