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. Cell Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    The transition state and regulation of γ-TuRC-mediated microtubule nucleation revealed by single molecule microscopy

    Akanksha Thawani et al.
    Four αβ-tubulin dimers associate laterally on γ-TuRC to define the rate-limiting transition state for microtubule nucleation.
    1. Neuroscience
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Tuning of feedforward control enables stable muscle force-length dynamics after loss of autogenic proprioceptive feedback

    Joanne C Gordon et al.
    Running guinea fowl maintain stable running after loss of the stretch reflex in a major ankle extensor muscle, by increasing feedforward muscle activation to maintain ankle stiffness and work output.
    1. Ecology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Ant collective cognition allows for efficient navigation through disordered environments

    Aviram Gelblum et al.
    When real ants confront the classical 'Ant-in-a-labyrinth' physics problem where a random walker traverses a percolated environment, they employ active extended sensing and collective cognition to outperform passive physical solutions.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Self-restoration of cardiac excitation rhythm by anti-arrhythmic ion channel gating

    Rupamanjari Majumder et al.
    Customization of ion channel gating enhances homeostatic regulation through automatic detection and correction of abnormal physiological changes, as illustrated by self-restoration of excitation rhythm in cardiac arrhythmias.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Nuclei determine the spatial origin of mitotic waves

    Felix E Nolet et al.
    Nuclei and spatial system dimensions control local concentrations of cell cycle regulators, determining the spatial origin of waves that coordinate​ DNA replication and, subsequently, cell division.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Mitigating memory effects during undulatory locomotion on hysteretic materials

    Perrin E Schiebel et al.
    Undulatory animals moving on the surface must manage material memory by either having a slender anatomy that facilitates avoiding previously remodeled substrate, or using waveshapes that effectively utilize the memory.
    1. Chromosomes and Gene Expression
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Chromosome organization by one-sided and two-sided loop extrusion

    Edward J Banigan et al.
    Seemingly contradictory findings of single-molecule and in vivo experiments on a major mechanism of chromosome organization are reconciled by computationally investigating mechanisms of loop extrusion that are consistent with both.

Senior editors

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