Genome replication originates at random places along the DNA strand, yet replication of the genetic material finishes within a defined time. A model based on phase-transition kinetics in condensed-matter systems explains how this just-in-time replication can happen.
Physics1, 30 (2008) – Published October 20, 2008
Some of the most ingenious ideas for designing microfluidic systems come from observing plants and animals. A study that quantifies the protein-driven helical flow of liquid in large plant cells, for instance, may well inspire micron-scale liquid mixers and sensors.
Given that vaccine supplies are often limited, a quantitative understanding of how the number and frequency of vaccinations can affect the growth rate of disease would be useful. Physicists show that even a small number of randomly vaccinated individuals can exponentially increase the extinction rate of a disease.
Current technology permits tracking single molecules with exquisite precision, but the results need to be interpreted with care. Long-duration measurement of the motion of a single particle yields information that is different and complementary to that obtained from an ensemble average of many particles.
Molecular dynamics simulations show that thermal gradients – of order 1010 K over a meter - can polarize liquid water. The finding could have interesting implications for developing hyperthermal treatments that target cancer cells.
Phys. Rev. Focus21, 12 (2008) – Published April 7, 2008
Researchers have simulated the formation of complex shapes formed spontaneously by sheets of polymers in solution. The results provide a recipe for experimentalists that are studying these structures for drug delivery and nanofabrication.