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Some Critical Questions in Biological Physics

A guided tour around the bugbears
Dr Thomas Waigh


Some Critical Questions in Biological Physics discusses 18 key questions in biological physics, each forming independent chapters that will, by presenting the research in terms of key, unsolved problems, encourage interest in the field. Each chapter includes an introduction that is meant to be accessible to all readers followed by a section containing more technical details that may be of greater interest to specialists but still written in an accessible style. The book provides useful reading for undergraduate physical scientists considering a research career in the life science by presenting biological physics in a coherent modern framework. Additionally, it includes material relevant to medicine, pharmaceutics and biotechnology, and demonstrates biological physics with modern examples with a readily approachable style.

About Editors

Dr Thomas Andrew Waigh was a physics undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh and then completed a PhD in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. This was followed by a two-year post-doc at the Collège de France in Paris, in the laboratory of Pierre Giles de Gennes. He then returned to the UK with a lectureship in physics at the University of Leeds. Currently, he is a senior lecturer in biological physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. Previously, he has written two books on biological physics, Applied Biophysics and The Physics of Living Processes: a Mesoscopic Approach, published by Wiley. He has published more than 80 articles.

Table of Contents



Author biography                                                                                                                                                           

1              Molecular communication - crackling phone lines                                                             

2              How dynein works and other motor proteins                                                                     

3              How brains work – wiring and consciousness                                                                     

4              Spike trains and the senses – the mouse's whiskers                                       

5              Elastic turbulence – gloopy chaos                                                                                           

6              How mucus works – the twenty one mysteries in man                                 

7              Synthetic biology – reengineering bugs and molecules                                 

8              Missing instruments - grease monkeys required                             

9              The structure of carbohydrates – the perfect chip                                           

10           Evolution and antibiotics – bugmageddon                                                          

11          The regulation of expression in DNA – huge uncertainties in genetics

12          The origin of sub-diffusion inside cells - everything's gone fractional

13          Microrheology - the unexplored continents                                                       

14          Quantum phenomena in biology – the role of chunks                           

15          The structure of membranes – uncharted factories                                                  

16          Drug delivery – gene therapy and other stories                                                                               

17          A good model for polyelectrolytes – bootstrapping with a many body problem                                                                                                                                                          
18          The activity of hearts – the pump that quivers                                   

A Perspective                                                                    


Hardback ISBN: 9780750313759

Ebook ISBN: 9780750313742

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-1374-2

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


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