Biological physics

Biological physics is a branch of physics that deals with systems of a biological nature, from the scale of biological molecules to whole organisms and ecosystems. Biological physics typically uses quantitative physical approaches to address biological questions similar to those studied in biochemistry and molecular biology.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Animals seem capable of an infinite variety of movement, yet also exhibit substantial stereotypy in repeated actions. A beautiful view of worm behaviour now shows that the worm’s state evolves deterministically but is bounced chaotically between unstable periodic orbits.

    • Jane Loveless
    •  & Barbara Webb
  • News and Views |

    Populations of organisms can be regarded as clouds of genetic variants evolving passively in response to mutation and natural selection. Counterdiabatic driving — a tool borrowed from quantum control — now offers the possibility of actively controlling both the rate and route followed by an evolving population.

    • Daniel M. Weinreich
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Caterina La Porta and Stefano Zapperi discuss how a suitable identification of the control and order parameters can shed light on the nature of phase transitions in cell migration.

    • Caterina A. M. La Porta
    •  & Stefano Zapperi
  • News and Views |

    Everybody who has ever made a paper airplane and been disappointed as it spins out of control, crashing to the ground, knows how tricky achieving suitable trim and stability for gliding can be. But, somehow, wiggling flying snakes glide without tumbling.

    • Jim Usherwood
    Nature Physics 16, 905-906
  • News and Views |

    Microscopic motile cilia, beating in synchrony across large scales, move the liquid lining of our lungs, protecting from infection and dirt. Surprisingly, a disordered arrangement of cilia, as observed in nature, is shown to be optimal for airway clearance.

    • Pietro Cicuta
    Nature Physics 16, 903-904