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

    Shared behavioral mechanisms underlie C. elegans aggregation and swarming

    Siyu Serena Ding et al.
    Two seemingly distinct behaviors in social C. elegans worms, namely aggregating into groups and swarming over food, are driven by the same underlying mechanisms.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Spatiotemporal organization of branched microtubule networks

    Akanksha Thawani et al.
    A sequential reaction pathway involving TPX2, augmin and γ-TuRC governs the assembly and architecture of branched microtubule networks.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Spatial control of irreversible protein aggregation

    Christoph Weber et al.
    A theoretical basis for the spatial regulation of protein aggregation shows how aggregates can partition preferentially into intracellular liquid compartments.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Influenza A virus surface proteins are organized to help penetrate host mucus

    Michael D Vahey, Daniel A Fletcher
    By distributing receptor-binding and receptor-destroying proteins asymmetrically on their surface, filamentous influenza A virus particles create a Brownian ratchet that facilitates their passage through mucus.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Imaging single-cell blood flow in the smallest to largest vessels in the living retina

    Aby Joseph et al.
    By using a specialized camera that corrects for eye blur, millions of single-blood-cells are imaged, and their speed measured, as they travel through the largest-to-smallest vessels of the retina.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Environmental heterogeneity can tip the population genetics of range expansions

    Matti Gralka, Oskar Hallatschek
    Environmental heterogeneity can dramatically reduce the efficacy of selection and alter the neutral evolutionary dynamics in microbial range expansions.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Mechanics and dynamics of translocating MreB filaments on curved membranes

    Felix Wong et al.
    Principal curvature-dependent motion of bacterial actin MreB results in localization consistent with all known literature.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Biophysics: Common concepts for bacterial collectives

    Hannah Jeckel et al.
    The expansion of bacterial swarms and the spreading of biofilms can be described by a unified biophysical theory that involves both active and passive processes.
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    1. Physics of Living Systems

    A multiphase theory for spreading microbial swarms and films

    Siddarth Srinivasan et al.
    A multiphase hydrodynamic theory reveals that the dynamics of colony expansion in microbial swarms and biofilms are limited by the constraints of water and nutrient availability.
    1. Immunology and Inflammation
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Light-based tuning of ligand half-life supports kinetic proofreading model of T cell signaling

    Doug K Tischer, Orion David Weiner
    Direct control of ligand binding half-life with light shows that lifetime strongly affects T cell signaling.

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