Physical Biology of the Cell is a biophysics textbook that explores how the basic tools and insights of physics and mathematics can illuminate the study of molecular and cell biology. Drawing on key examples and seminal experiments from cell biology, the book demonstrates how quantitative models can help refine our understanding of existing biological data and also be used to make useful predictions. The book blends traditional models in cell biology with the quantitative approach typical in physics, in order to introduce the reader to both the possibilities and boundaries of the emerging field of physical biology. While teaching physical model building in cell biology through a practical, case-study approach, the text explores how quantitative modeling can be used to build a more profound, intuitive understanding of cell biology.
Table of Contents
Pt. 1 The Facts of Life
- Ch. 1 Why: Biology by the Numbers
- Ch. 2 What and Where: Construction Plans for Cells and Organisms
- Ch. 3 When: Stopwatches at Many Scales
- Ch. 4 Who: "Bless the Little Beasties"
Pt. 2 Life at Rest
- Ch. 5 Mechanical and Chemical Equilibrium in the Living Cell
- Ch. 6 Entropy Rules!
- Ch. 7 Two-State Systems: From Ion Channels to Cooperative Binding
- Ch. 8 Random Walks and the Structure of Macromolecules
- Ch. 9 Electrostatics for Salty Solutions
- Ch. 10 Beam Theory: Architecture for Cells and Skeletons
- Ch. 11 Biological Membranes: Life in Two Dimensions
Pt. 3 Life in Motion
- Ch. 12 The Mathematics of Water
- Ch. 13 A Statistical View of Biological Dynamics
- Ch. 14 Life in Crowded and Disordered Environments
- Ch. 15 Rate Equations and Dynamics in the Cell
- Ch. 16 Dynamics of Molecular Motors
- Ch. 17 Biological Electricity and the Hodgkin-Huxley Model
Pt. 4 The Meaning of Life
- Ch. 18 Sequences, Specificity, and Evolution
- Ch. 19 Network Organization in Space and Time
- Ch. 20 Whither Physical Biology?