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

    Microneedle manipulation of the mammalian spindle reveals specialized, short-lived reinforcement near chromosomes

    Pooja Suresh et al.
    Directly exerting force on the mammalian spindle reveals local and short-lived reinforcement in the spindle center, well-suited to preserve connections to chromosomes over seconds and yet allow remodeling over minutes.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Sperm chemotaxis is driven by the slope of the chemoattractant concentration field

    Héctor Vicente Ramírez-Gómez et al.
    The slope of the chemoattractant concentration gradient is a driving force for sperm chemotaxis, by coordinating the entrainment of information flow between sensing, signaling and motility.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    The transpeptidase PBP2 governs initial localization and activity of the major cell-wall synthesis machinery in E. coli

    Gizem Özbaykal et al.
    For initiation of cell-wall insertion, the cross-linking enzyme PBP2 stably binds to a component of the cell envelope that is different from MreB filaments.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Stochastic yield catastrophes and robustness in self-assembly

    Florian M Gartner et al.
    Fluctuations in the availability of particles for binding can completely jeopardize yield in heterogeneous self-assembly.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Reversal of contractility as a signature of self-organization in cytoskeletal bundles

    Martin Lenz
    Quantitative, experimentally testable predictions allow discrimination between contraction mechanisms in disordered actomyosin and microtubule/motor bundles.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Animal Behavior: Whale breaching says it loud and clear

    Alexander J Werth, Charles L Lemon
    A whale leaping above the surface expends an enormous amount of energy, displaying its health and strength to peers and potential mates.
    Insight
    Available as:
    • HTML
    • PDF
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Energetic and physical limitations on the breaching performance of large whales

    Paolo S Segre et al.
    Muscle power-generating capabilities, and not energetic limitations, limit the breaching abilities of the largest whales.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Overtone focusing in biphonic tuvan throat singing

    Christopher Bergevin et al.
    In light of the mysteries underlying the biphonic nature of Tuvan throat song, information from multiple modalities is combined to explain how this remarkable phenomenon is achieved biomechanically.
    1. Physics of Living Systems
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    High-throughput, single-particle tracking reveals nested membrane domains that dictate KRasG12D diffusion and trafficking

    Yerim Lee et al.
    The nanoscopic landscape of the membrane has a direct impact on the spatiotemporal, and likely also the signaling, dynamics of Ras proteins.

Senior editors

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