Nevill Mottt Hall
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR)
Jakkur Campus, Bangalore 560064

Administrative Contact:

K Venkatesh
Programme Assistant

Email: dmwater@jncasr.ac.in

Tel: 080-22082899
Fax: 080-2208 2906

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Regular JNC Shuttle Bus Timings:

January 9:
From IISc 9:15 a.m, 10:15 a.m.

January 10:
From IISc: 8:30 a.m, 10:00 a.m.

Discussion Meeting on
Water and Aqueous Solutions

January 9 - 10, 2015

Biological water : Past follies and future directions

Biman Bagchi
Solid State Structural Chemistyr Unit, Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore 560012, India

E-mail: bbagchi@sscu.iisc.ernet.in


Nature of water in biological systems is believed to have different characteristics from those in the bulk, in its neat state. By biological systems, we mean water in the  grooves of DNA, in hydration layer of proteins, surfaces of lipids, and of course within biological cells. Initial experimental studies employed dielectric relaxation of aqueous protein solutions and first indication of somewhat different water was manifested in the existence of a slow decay time constant with observed values around 50 ps.  Later it was realized that there could be other claimants for this slow decay component. Subsequent experimental studies have largely confirmed this but not unambiguously. The origin of the slow decay and the magnitude of the slow time scale have remained controversial --- even its existence has been questioned.

Many years and many simulations and analyses later, there are still many unanswered questions. Different simulations find vastly different results and arrive at different conclusions. People have often made questionable comparisons (like apples with oranges) that have created confusion. Experimental results have not really helped clarifying the issues, primarily difficulty is the spatial decomposition.

There are still many questions that need to be answered. In addition, a broader perspective is  required. It is easy to simulate hydration dynamics of yet another system, but one would require cognition of many aspects together to understand nature of biological water. Similarly, experiments also should be able to differentiate between different (and there are multiple) issues.

I shall discuss some of these issues using results from different groups and our own