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. Neuroscience
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    A theory of synaptic transmission

    Bin Wang, Olga K Dudko
    The analytic theory establishes the general principles of synaptic transmission, enables extraction of microscopic parameters of synaptic fusion machinery from experiments, and links molecular constituents to synaptic function.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Strong confinement of active microalgae leads to inversion of vortex flow and enhanced mixing

    Debasmita Mondal et al.
    Coupling between cell motility and strong confinement alters the force generators that cause flow fields to change their handedness and lead to enhanced mixing.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Mechanism of life-long maintenance of neuron identity despite molecular fluctuations

    Joleen JH Traets et al.
    Differential binding kinetics of a master regulator to its target promoters can prevent spontaneous cell fate loss in a Caenorhabditis elegans neuron whose fate is controlled by a reversible switch.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Antagonism between killer yeast strains as an experimental model for biological nucleation dynamics

    Andrea Giometto et al.
    Like physical systems that exhibit nucleation phenomena, an invading population of a strong microbial antagonist requires a critical inoculum size to successfully invade a population of a weaker microbial antagonist.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Distinguishing different modes of growth using single-cell data

    Prathitha Kar et al.
    Single-cell data analysis must be guided by an underlying model.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Stochastic social behavior coupled to COVID-19 dynamics leads to waves, plateaus, and an endemic state

    Alexei V Tkachenko et al.
    Time-varying heterogeneous social activity explains transient suppression of epidemic waves followed by long plateaus and eventual transition towards the endemic state of an emergent pathogen, such as COVID-19.

Senior editors

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