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Virus Packing

This script calculates the approximate packing efficiency of a virus: the percentage of capsid volume that is taken up by DNA. It makes several assumptions: See this page for some discussion of DNA and RNA structure. This long list of viruses is a good source of information on the sizes of different types. Clicking the names of the viruses will give you more information and references for the parameters I used. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Notice the huge range of packing efficiencies! High packing efficiency may imply a highly pressurized capsid. Many of the numbers I used are rough outer diameters - an inner diameter, when available, will give you a better estimate of the pressure.

For information on our experiments to measure the pressure in viruses, contact Paul, grayson@caltech.edu, or see our group webpage: http://www.rpgroup.caltech.edu/.