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
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Conformational changes in twitchin kinase in vivo revealed by FRET imaging of freely moving C. elegans

    Daniel Porto et al.
    Quantitative FRET imaging in moving C. elegans shows that stretch-unfolding of twitchin kinase occurs in the active muscle, whereby mechanical activity titrates the signaling pathway of this cytoskeletal kinase.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Gut bacterial aggregates as living gels

    Brandon H Schlomann, Raghuveer Parthasarathy
    A theory of gut bacterial aggregation produces a cluster size distribution that matches that of several strains observed in zebrafish, suggesting principles generally applicable to the vertebrate gut.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Evolution of irreversible somatic differentiation

    Yuanxiao Gao et al.
    Irreversible differentiation into somatic cells is evolutionarily optimal if changing cell phenotype is costly, a few somatic cells already improve the organism's performance, and the organism is large enough.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 polymerase by nucleotide analogs from a single-molecule perspective

    Mona Seifert et al.
    High-throughput and ultra-stable magnetic tweezers reveal that Remdesivir induces a long-lived backtrack pause upon incorporation by the coronavirus polymerase, and SARS-CoV-2 is able to evade interferon-induced antiviral ddhCTP.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    A morphological transformation in respiratory syncytial virus leads to enhanced complement deposition

    Jessica P Kuppan et al.
    Respiratory syncytial virus produces filamentous particles that change shape when the viral matrix detaches from the viral membrane, and this change in shape results in enhanced deposition of complement proteins, with potential downstream consequences.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Autonomous clocks that regulate organelle biogenesis, cytoskeletal organization, and intracellular dynamics

    Mohammad Mofatteh et al.
    Latest advances in biological timing studies substantiate an emerging concept of autonomous clocks that are normally entrained by the cell cycle and/or the circadian clock to run in synchrony, but have evolved to run independently to regulate different cellular events.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Condensation tendency and planar isotropic actin gradient induce radial alignment in confined monolayers

    Tianfa Xie et al.
    Radial alignment in confined cell monolayers with isotropic actin network is found to be mediated by the condensation tendency and tissue-scale actin gradient.

Senior editors

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