Physics of Living Systems

Physics of Living Systems

eLife reviews research in which approaches from the physical sciences are used to provide insights into the properties of biological systems and processes. Learn more about what we review and sign up for the latest research.
Illustration by Davide Bonazzi

Latest articles

    1. Genetics and Genomics
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Coarsening dynamics can explain meiotic crossover patterning in both the presence and absence of the synaptonemal complex

    John A Fozard, Chris Morgan, Martin Howard
    Mathematical modelling, together with super-resolution imaging in Arabidopsis, demonstrates that a recently proposed coarsening model for meiotic crossover interference can explain the dynamic patterning of crossovers in many contexts, including in zyp1 and pch2 chromosome structure mutants.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    In-line swimming dynamics revealed by fish interacting with a robotic mechanism

    Robin Thandiackal, George Lauder
    Fish in the thrust wake of a flapping foil reduce tail-beat frequencies, synchronize with oncoming vortices, and swim energetically more efficiently.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Animal Locomotion: The benefits of swimming together

    Iain D Couzin, Liang Li
    When a fish beats its tail, it produces vortices in the water that other fish could take advantage of to save energy while swimming.
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    1. Physics of Living Systems
    2. Neuroscience

    How human runners regulate footsteps on uneven terrain

    Nihav Dhawale, Madhusudhan Venkadesan
    When running on uneven terrain, humans mostly rely on the body's mechanical response for stability instead of planning their footsteps to seek out level ground.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Controlling periodic long-range signalling to drive a morphogenetic transition

    Hugh Z Ford, Angelika Manhart, Jonathan R Chubb
    Cells control signal circulation to set the frequency of information transmitted over tissue scales.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Lonafarnib improves cardiovascular function and survival in a mouse model of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome

    Sae-Il Murtada, Nicole Mikush ... Jay D Humphrey
    Daily administration of the farnesyltransferase inhibitor lonafarnib decreases central artery stiffness, increases distal artery vasoactivity, and improves left ventricular function consistent with increased survival in a mouse model of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.
    1. Neuroscience
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Granger causality analysis for calcium transients in neuronal networks, challenges and improvements

    Xiaowen Chen, Faustine Ginoux ... Claire Wyart
    A practical toolbox for application of Granger causality inference to calcium imaging data identifies strong driver neurons in the locus of the mesencephalic locomoter region in larval zebrafish.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Motor processivity and speed determine structure and dynamics of microtubule-motor assemblies

    Rachel A Banks, Vahe Galstyan ... Rob Phillips
    Mesoscopic properties of motor-microtubule assemblies, such as contractile rates and length scales, can be quantitatively connected to single-motor properties of kinesin motors.


    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Why do fish swim in schools?

    Iain D Couzin, Liang Li
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Cancer: Cells under pressure

    Dhiraj Indana, Ovijit Chaudhuri

Senior editors

  1. Aleksandra Walczak
    Ecole Normale Superieure, France
  2. See more editors