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AttoDNA: how electronic motions affect the photostability of the genomic material

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 AttoDNA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the AttoDNA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "AttoDNA" about.

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Project "AttoDNA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: SW7 2AZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-03-01   to  2020-02-29


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

AttoDNA considers the early (attosecond to few-femtosecond) events following photo-excitation/ionisation in DNA/RNA canonical and non-canonical nucleobases for the first time. This involves the electronic movement before the onset of nuclear dynamics, ascertaining the length in which this initial purely electronic motion extends in time and how it affects the ensuing nuclear dynamics and its outcome with regards to the photostability shown by the genomic material from a bottom-up approach. By monitoring the electronic and nuclear motions in canonical and non-canonical nucleobases, the way in which they couple can be elucidated and the specific motions contributing to photostability extracted from a novel standpoint.

Photostability is one of the main properties thought to play a crucial role in the selection of the nucleobase monomers in prebiotic extreme UV exposure, by encoding the genome using the most suitable (photostable) building blocks as an elegant solution to aid in its photo-protective design and thus defend itself against the threat of photochemical damage. Beyond its intrinsic importance given its essential role towards preserving our genomic material, an in-depth knowledge of this outstanding property also provides a unique perspective on the events where these photo-protection mechanisms fail, namely the photo-damage instances, and in the subsequent repair mechanisms mediated by electron transfers as those put in place by enzymes and/or in specific non-invasive treatments like photodynamic therapies, the most widespread treatment for cancer.

The project therefore aims at extending the foundations rationalising DNA's photostability by exploring the potential role of the electronic dynamics prior to the onset of nuclear dynamics for the first time and is expected to have a large impact in the fields of photochemistry and photobiology.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Javier Segarra‐Martí, Thierry Tran, Michael J. Bearpark
Computing the Ultrafast and Radiationless Electronic Excited State Decay of Cytosine and 5‐methyl‐cytosine Cations: Uncovering the Role of Dynamic Electron Correlation
published pages: 856-865, ISSN: 2367-0932, DOI: 10.1002/cptc.201900105
ChemPhotoChem 3/9 2020-02-20
2020 Javier Segarra-Martí, Francesco Segatta, Tristan A. Mackenzie, Artur Nenov, Ivan Rivalta, Michael J. Bearpark, Marco Garavelli
Modeling multidimensional spectral lineshapes from first principles: application to water-solvated adenine
published pages: 219-244, ISSN: 1359-6640, DOI: 10.1039/c9fd00072k
Faraday Discussions 221 2020-02-20
2019 Thierry Tran, Javier Segarra-Martí, Michael J. Bearpark, Michael A. Robb
Molecular Vertical Excitation Energies Studied with First-Order RASSCF (RAS[1,1]): Balancing Covalent and Ionic Excited States
published pages: 5223-5230, ISSN: 1089-5639, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.9b03715
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 123/25 2020-02-20
2019 Javier Segarra-Martí, Thierry Tran, Michael J. Bearpark
Ultrafast and radiationless electronic excited state decay of uracil and thymine cations: computing the effects of dynamic electron correlation
published pages: 14322-14330, ISSN: 1463-9076, DOI: 10.1039/c8cp07189f
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 21/26 2020-02-20

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The information about "ATTODNA" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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