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Physics, Engineering, and Life
Interesting news related to physics and engineering in biology and nature
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Neuroscience: Ordered randomness in fly love songs

Nature advance online publication 05 March 2014. doi:10.1038/nature13208
Author: Bence P.
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The dynamics of quantum criticality revealed by quantum Monte Carlo and holography

Nature Physics.
doi:10.1038/nphys2913
Authors: William Witczak-Krempa, Erik S. Sørensen & Subir Sachdev
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Nuclear reprogramming by interphase cytoplasm of two-cell mouse embryos

Nature advance online publication 26 March 2014. doi:10.1038/nature13134
Authors: Eunju Kang, Guangming Wu, Hong Ma, Ying Li, Rebecca Tippner-Hedges, Masahito Tachibana, Michelle Sparman, Don P. Wolf, Hans R.
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Active transport of vesicles in neurons is modulated by mechanical tension : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

Active transport of vesicles in neurons is modulated by mechanical tension : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group | Physics, Engineering, and Life | Scoop.it
Effective intracellular transport of proteins and organelles is critical in cells, and is especially important for ensuring proper neuron functionality. In neurons, most proteins are synthesized in the cell body and must be transported through thin structures over long distances where normal diffusion is insufficient. Neurons transport subcellular cargo along axons and neurites through a stochastic interplay of active and passive transport. Mechanical tension is critical in maintaining proper function in neurons, but its role in transport is not well understood. To this end, we investigate the active and passive transport of vesicles in Aplysia neurons while changing neurite tension via applied strain, and quantify the resulting dynamics. We found that tension in neurons modulates active transport of vesicles by increasing the probability of active motion, effective diffusivity, and induces a retrograde bias. We show that mechanical tension modulates active transport processes in neurons and that external forces can couple to internal (subcellular) forces and change the overall transport dynamics.
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Long-range orientational order in two-dimensional microfluidic dipoles

Nature Physics.
doi:10.1038/nphys2843
Authors: Itamar Shani, Tsevi Beatus, Roy H.
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[Molecular Biology] Glassy Cytoplasm

Bacteria lack motor proteins such as myosins, kinesins, and dyneins, and molecular transport and cytoskeletal mixing are thought to rely on diffusion. Using single-molecule tracking, – [Read More]
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High-precision measurement of the atomic mass of the electron

Nature advance online publication 19 February 2014. doi:10.1038/nature13026
Authors: S. Sturm, F. Köhler, J. Zatorski, A. Wagner, Z. Harman, G. Werth, W. Quint, C. H. Keitel & K.
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[Neuroscience] Axon Bound

Developing mammalian neurons extend multiple neurites, one of which goes on to form the mature axon. Parker et al. have identified distinct and opposite roles for two isoforms – [Read More]
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Naps Nurture Growing Brains

Naps Nurture Growing Brains | Physics, Engineering, and Life | Scoop.it
Preschool naptime helps children remember more of what they learn
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Experimental verification of quantum computation

Nature Physics.
doi:10.1038/nphys2763
Authors: Stefanie Barz, Joseph F. Fitzsimons, Elham Kashefi & Philip Walther
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[Book Review] From Matter to Self-Organizing Life

Through a collection of 50 questions and associated stories, Eigen offers a wide-ranging consideration of "the physical nature of information and its role in life processes.
Author: Arne Traulsen
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Integrin-modulating therapy prevents fibrosis and autoimmunity in mouse models of scleroderma

Nature advance online publication 09 October 2013. doi:10.1038/nature12614
Authors: Elizabeth E. Gerber, Elena M. Gallo, Stefani C. Fontana, Elaine C. Davis, Fredrick M. Wigley, David L. Huso & Harry C.
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Applied physics: Materials scientists take control

Nature advance online publication 16 October 2013. doi:10.1038/nature12696
Author: Melanie W.
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Stressed-Out Brain Cells May Protect Against Alzheimer's

Stressed-Out Brain Cells May Protect Against Alzheimer's | Physics, Engineering, and Life | Scoop.it
Protein guards the aging brain from dementia
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[Neuroscience] Neurons' New Birthday

Mice generate new olfactory neurons throughout adult life. Although humans seem not to generate new olfactory neurons in adulthood, the site at which those new neurons are born, the – [Read More]
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Sensory stimulation shifts visual cortex from synchronous to asynchronous states

Nature advance online publication 30 March 2014. doi:10.1038/nature13159
Authors: Andrew Y. Y. Tan, Yuzhi Chen, Benjamin Scholl, Eyal Seidemann & Nicholas J.
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Microfluidics: For a few drops more

Nature Physics.
doi:10.1038/nphys2879
Authors: Howard A.
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Liposome adhesion generates traction stress

Nature Physics.
doi:10.1038/nphys2855
Authors: Michael P. Murrell, Raphaël Voituriez, Jean-François Joanny, Pierre Nassoy, Cécile Sykes & Margaret L. Gardel
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Melanosome evolution indicates a key physiological shift within feathered dinosaurs

Nature advance online publication 12 February 2014. doi:10.1038/nature12973
Authors: Quanguo Li, Julia A. Clarke, Ke-Qin Gao, Chang-Fu Zhou, Qingjin Meng, Daliang Li, Liliana D’Alba & Matthew D.
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Bacterial transport suppressed by fluid shear

Nature Physics.
doi:10.1038/nphys2883
Authors: Roberto Rusconi, Jeffrey S.
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Every Life Has Equal Value

Leroy E. Hood, Edward D. Lazowska. The 2013 Lasker∼Bloomberg Public Service Award will be given to Bill and Melinda Gates “for leading an historic transformation in the way we view the globe’s most pressing health concerns and impr....
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Eat to Live or Live to Eat?

Life in most of the world’s urban societies is increasingly sedentary. People neither toil in the fields nor hunt for food. With little need for mobility, there’s easy access to plenty of food tha....
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Cancer: Killing from the inside

Nature advance online publication 02 October 2013. doi:10.1038/nature12692
Authors: Paul Saftig & Konrad Sandhoff
Lysosomes are the main degradative compartment in cells, but they are also involved in cell-death pathways.
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Nobel Prize 2013: Englert and Higgs

Nature Physics(2013). doi:10.1038/nphys2800 Author: Alison Wright The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 has been awarded to Fran¸ois Englert and Peter Higgs "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding...
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[Developmental Biology] Growing Vessels

Blood flow in an animal is not only made possible by blood vessel structure, but it also governs the development and remodeling of the vessels themselves. However, little is known about – [Read More]
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