Browse our latest Physics of Living Systems articles

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    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Physical limits of flow sensing in the left-right organizer

    Rita R Ferreira et al.
    Large-scale in vivo imaging of the zebrafish left-right organizer (Kupffer's vesicle) combined with fluid dynamics calculations allows to quantitatively test the possible flow detection mechanisms and supports the flow transport of chemical signals as the mechanism of side determination.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Increasing evidence of mechanical force as a functional regulator in smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase

    Fabian Baumann et al.
    Atomic force microscopy based single-molecule force spectroscopy of smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase strongly indicates the existence of a mechanically triggerable activation pathway analogous to its well-established biochemical regulation pathway via calcium-loaded calmodulin.
    1. Physics of Living Systems
    2. Computational and Systems Biology

    Probing protein flexibility reveals a mechanism for selective promiscuity

    Nicolas A Pabon, Carlos J Camacho
    Conserved contacts on cognate ligands trigger an induced fit pathway that confers selective promiscuity to PD-1, a flexible regulatory protein and promising anticancer target.
    1. Ecology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Microbial consortia at steady supply

    Thibaud Taillefumier et al.
    In a consumer-resource model obeying the physical requirement of flux conservation, metabolic competition between microbes yields consortia of cell types that collectively resist invasion via optimal use of resources.
    1. Physics of Living Systems
    2. Cell Biology

    27 T ultra-high static magnetic field changes orientation and morphology of mitotic spindles in human cells

    Lei Zhang et al.
    An ultra-high static magnetic field changes mitotic spindle orientation in cells by exerting magnetic torques on both microtubules and chromosomes.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Distinct contributions of the thin and thick filaments to length-dependent activation in heart muscle

    Xuemeng Zhang et al.
    The Frank–Starling law of the heart and its underlying mechanism of length-dependent activation involve distinctive structural changes in both the thin and thick filaments of cardiac muscle cells.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Controlling contractile instabilities in the actomyosin cortex

    Masatoshi Nishikawa et al.
    Combining quantitative biological experiment and physical description of actomyosin cortex reveals a contractile instability in the cortex of C. elegans embryo, and its biochemical control in order to robustly drive morphogenetic events.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Mapping out Min protein patterns in fully confined fluidic chambers

    Yaron Caspi, Cees Dekker
    The geometry selection rules of dynamic Min protein patterns are determined in fully confined fluidic chambers, showing that both oscillations and running waves are derivatives of spiral rotations that are established as the majority pattern.
    1. Physics of Living Systems
    2. Cell Biology

    Physical basis of large microtubule aster growth

    Keisuke Ishihara et al.
    Autocatalytic growth of a microtubule polymer network allows extremely large egg cells to self-organize and divide rapidly.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Aerotaxis in the closest relatives of animals

    Julius B Kirkegaard et al.
    The colony-forming choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta is capable of moving towards oxygen using logarithmic sensing of oxygen concentrations and a navigation strategy that involves random movements.