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

    High-molecular-weight polymers from dietary fiber drive aggregation of particulates in the murine small intestine

    Asher Preska Steinberg et al.
    Polymers from dietary fiber can control the aggregation of particulates in the murine small intestine in a manner qualitatively consistent with depletion interactions.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Rapid changes in tissue mechanics regulate cell behaviour in the developing embryonic brain

    Amelia J Thompson et al.
    During embryonic development, tissue stiffness, which provides an important signal to motile cells, changes locally within tens of minutes in a well-controlled manner.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Spatial control of neuronal metabolism through glucose-mediated mitochondrial transport regulation

    Anamika Agrawal et al.
    A quantitative analysis of glucose-dependent transport regulation indicates that mitochondrial accumulation in regions of high nutrient availability can enhance metabolism in neuronal axons under physiologically relevant conditions.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Body size-dependent energy storage causes Kleiber’s law scaling of the metabolic rate in planarians

    Albert Thommen et al.
    A combination of experimental and theoretical analysis identifies body size-dependent energy storage as the physiological cause of 3/4-power law scaling of the metabolic rate in planarians.
    1. Chromosomes and Gene Expression
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    DNA sequence encodes the position of DNA supercoils

    Sung Hyun Kim et al.
    Single-molecule experiments reveal that plectonemic supercoils occupy specific positions on DNA and a physical model relates this to the intrinsic curvature, providing an insight into how supercoiling organizes the genome.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Measuring cis-regulatory energetics in living cells using allelic manifolds

    Talitha L Forcier et al.
    A novel strategy is presented for quantitatively measuring protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions that regulate transcription in living cells.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Downsizing the molecular spring of the giant protein titin reveals that skeletal muscle titin determines passive stiffness and drives longitudinal hypertrophy

    Ambjorn Brynnel et al.
    Genetically altering the size of the molecular spring element in the giant protein titin established that titin determines the stiffness of skeletal muscle and the number of sarcomeres in series.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Theoretical tool bridging cell polarities with development of robust morphologies

    Silas Boye Nissen et al.
    Biological shapes and morphological transitions can emerge from combining directed interactions between cells with apical-basal and planar cell polarity.
    1. Neuroscience
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Arterial smooth muscle cell PKD2 (TRPP1) channels regulate systemic blood pressure

    Simon Bulley et al.
    Arterial myocyte PKD2 channels are activated by vasoconstrictor stimuli, which increases blood pressure, are upregulated during hypertension and cell-specific knockout in vivo reduces both physiological blood pressure and hypertension.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Morphogenetic degeneracies in the actomyosin cortex

    Sundar Ram Naganathan et al.
    Distinct molecular functions contribute to the same material property at larger scales leading to degenerate functionality.

Senior editors

  1. Naama Barkai
    Naama Barkai
    Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  2. Arup K Chakraborty
    Arup K Chakraborty
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  3. See more editors