Physics of Living Systems

Physics of Living Systems

eLife publishes 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 publish and sign up for the latest research.
Illustration by Davide Bonazzi

Latest articles

    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Surface-to-volume scaling and aspect ratio preservation in rod-shaped bacteria

    Nikola Ojkic et al.
    Rod-shaped bacteria preserve their aspect ratios and surface-to-volume scaling by maintaining a homeostatic balance between the rates of cell elongation and division protein synthesis.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Pressure-driven release of viral genome into a host nucleus is a mechanism leading to herpes infection

    Alberto Brandariz-Nuñez et al.
    Internal DNA pressure of tens of atmospheres inside a herpesvirus capsid powers ejection of the viral genome into a cell nucleus, causing infection.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Self-organised segregation of bacterial chromosomal origins

    Andreas Hofmann et al.
    The self-organising condensin MukBEF positions chromosomal origins in Escherichia coli..
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Somatosensory neurons integrate the geometry of skin deformation and mechanotransduction channels to shape touch sensing

    Alessandro Sanzeni et al.
    Nonlinear elasticity of skin tissues and somatosensory neural responses are combined to predict and test C. elegans processing of touch stimuli and modifications due to changes in the body mechanics.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    KymoButler, a deep learning software for automated kymograph analysis

    Maximilian AH Jakobs et al.
    KymoButler is a machine learning approach towards the reliable, quick, and fully automated analysis of the dynamics of fluorescently labelled particles in living cells.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Cell-sized confinement controls generation and stability of a protein wave for spatiotemporal regulation in cells

    Shunshi Kohyama et al.
    A cell-sized fully confined space significantly controls the emergence and stability of a protein wave, resulting in intracellular spatiotemporal regulation driven by a reaction-diffusion mechanism.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Metabolic constraints drive self-organization of specialized cell groups

    Sriram Varahan et al.
    In a developing yeast colony, cells go from homogeneous states to spatially organized, specialized metabolic states, and the new metabolic states depend on resources produced by the original state.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Swimming eukaryotic microorganisms exhibit a universal speed distribution

    Maciej Lisicki et al.
    Analysis of published studies reveals that flagellates and ciliates separately exhibit log-normal distributions of swimming speeds, and rescaling by the mean speed of each collapses them to a universal relationship.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    A microfluidic device for inferring metabolic landscapes in yeast monolayer colonies

    Zoran S Marinkovic et al.
    Metabolic gradients underlie gene expression patterns within spatially controlled expanding 2D microbial colonies.

Senior editors

  1. Naama Barkai
    Naama Barkai
    Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  2. Aleksandra Walczak
    Ecole Normale Superieure, France
  3. See more editors