The book is intended to be a desktop reference for advanced graduate students or young researchers willing to acquire a broad interdisciplinary understanding of the multiple aspects of DNA and RNA. It is divided in three main sections:
The first section comprises an introduction to biochemistry and biology of nucleic acids. The structure and function of DNA are reviewed in R. Lavery's chapter. The next contribution, by V. Fritsch and E. Westhof, concentrates on the folding properties of RNA molecules. The cellular processes involving these molecules are reviewed by J. Kadonaga, with special emphasis on the regulation of transcription. These chapters does not require any preliminary knowledge in the field (except that of elementary biology and chemistry).
The second section covers the biophysics of DNA and RNA, starting with basics in polymer physics in the contribution by R. Khokhlov. A large space is then devoted to the presentation of recent experimental and theoretical progresses in the field of single molecule studies. T. Strick's contribution presents a detailed description of the various micro-manipulation techniques, and reviews recent experiments on the interactions between DNA and proteins (helicases, topoisomerases, ...). The theoretical modeling of single molecules is presented b