Dr. Lauren Keough
Combinatorics, RNA, non-crossing matchings
Genetics and Genomics
Teunis, Katrina, "The Combinatorics of the Foldings of RNA" (2018). Student Summer Scholars. 195.
RNA, much like DNA, is made up of four building blocks called nucleotides, Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Uracil. These nucleotides form words that like to fold in on itself and bond together, each type of nucleotide bonding with only one other type of nucleotide. Therefore, order and number of nucleotides present will determine how many times the strand of RNA can fold. Using these guidelines, we considered what happens when we have only one bonding pair. Expanding on what was proven in "k-Foldability of Words” (2017), we were able to expand on the number of ways a word can fold by adding to the list of ways any word of length 2n can fold. We also approached the problem from a different view by looking at how words with the same length and foldability compare to each other and defining operations between these words.