1. Which X-ray crystallographer was only recently recognised for their key contribution to determining the structure of DNA
  2. What is the final (and most overlooked) step in an autonomous templated-copying process
    a) Purification from unreacted monomers
    b) Autonomous separation of the produced copy from the template
    c) Ligation to produce a continuously bonded copy

  3. What mathematical concept is used to model a scaffold routing in the 2015 paper (Benson et al., Nature 2015) that introduced vhelix design of the Stanford bunny mesh?
    a) A Hamiltonian circuit
    b) An Eulerian circuit
    c) A random walk
    d) A face boundary walk

  4. Which of the following statements is False?
    a) Non-intersecting scaffold routings are always unknotted on checkerboard-colorable graph embeddings in a torus.
    b) There always exists an unknotted non-intersecting scaffold routing for a checkerboard-colorable graph embedding in any closed orientable surface.~
    c) There is never a knotted non-intersecting scaffold routing for a checkerboard-colorable graph embedding in a surface.
    d) Some Eulerian graphs can be embedded in a torus in a non-checkerboard colorable fashion so that all the non-intersecting scaffold routings are knotted.

  5.  Coined by Alberts, what is the name for the model describing how Okazaki fragments are produced during replication?

  6. Roughly how long would the DNA in a single (somatic diploid) human cell be, if stretched end-to-end? (in B-form)

  7. In bytes, roughly how much information is stored in a single (somatic diploid) human cell?

  8. In terms of persistence length, in Å, nm or base pairs, roughly how bendy is double stranded DNA?

  9. Name the purine that is one biochemical step removed from each of the two most common purines, Adenine and Guanine, and the pyrimidine that is one biochemical step removed from each of the two most common pyrimidines, Cytosine and Thymine.  Hint: these two bases, that form "wobbly" pairs with the others, are highly regulated in modern cells and plausible elements of the primordial genetic code.

  10. Which momentous forensic event in the history of DNA technology occured in 1987, thanks to pioneering work from Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester?

  11. Who first discovered the molecule DNA?

  12. What is the name of a mechanically interlocked molecular architecture consisting of a dumbbell shaped molecule which is threaded through a macrocycle?

  13. What is the name of the super resolution microscopy technique that uses fluorescent DNA probes and transient binding?

  14. What is the average mass of a DNA base pair?

  15. Which of the following (potentially multiple) properties could be determined from the X-ray diffraction picture ‘Photo 51’?
    a)     The structure was helical
    b)     Duplex diameter
    c)     Duplex handedness
    d)     Helical period
    e)     Base spacing

  16. Who gave his name to the rule that in genomic DNA the concentrations of A equals that of T, and C matches G, but A/T is generally different to C/G?

  17. Who showed, in an experiment involving a kitchen blender, that the genetic material of Bacteriophage T2 is DNA?

  18. Each nucleotide in oxDNA is represented as a 
    a) single rigid body particle
    b) 2 beads: one for backbone and one for base
    c) 3  beads: one for sugar site, one for base site, and one for phosphate site

  19. What DNA structures is scadnano optimal for designing?
    a) helices are largely parallel and planar
    b) 3D structures
    c) wireframe structures
    d) DNA 

  20. What base appears most in the standard M13mp18 scaffold; A, C, G, or T?

  21. Spell the longest English word you can with only A, T, C, G and U. One point per letter. (you may prefer to say one point for each letter longer than 3, so as not to inflate the points too much, as I expect everyone to get "cat")

Key dates

Submission opens

1 March 2020

Full paper (track A) and abstract (track B) submission

21 May 2020

Notification of paper acceptance

29 June 2020

Poster (track C) submission                                                

8 July 2020

Registration deadline

9 September 2020


Sponsored by the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering