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New Book Announcement

The new textbook

"Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo" by Gabor Forgacs and Stuart A. Newman

(Cambridge University Press)

appeared in November 2005 (Europe) / December 2005 (U.S.)

Abstract

During development cells and tissues undergo changes in pattern and form that employ a wider range of physical mechanisms than at any other time in an organism's life. This book demonstrates how physics can be used to analyze these biological phenomena. Written to be accessible to both biologists and physicists, major stages and components of the biological development process are introduced and then analyzed from the viewpoint of physics. The presentation of physical models requires no mathematics beyond basic calculus. Physical concepts introduced include diffusion, viscosity and elasticity, adhesion, dynamical systems, electrical potential, percolation, fractals, reaction-diffusion systems, and cellular automata. With full-color figures throughout, this comprehensive textbook teaches biophysics by application to developmental biology and is suitable for graduate and upper-undergraduate courses in physics and biology.

Contents

Introduction;

      • 1.

        The cell: fundamental unit of developmental systems;

            • 2.

              Cleavage and blastula formation;

        • 3.

          Cell states: stability, oscillation, differentiation;

    • 4.

      Cell adhesion, compartmentalization and lumen formation;

      • 5.

        Epithelial morphogenesis: gastrulation and neurulation;

              • 6.

                Mesenchymal morphogenesis;

      • 7.

        Pattern formation: segmentation, axes and asymmetry;

                • 8.

                  Organogenesis;

  • 9.

    Fertilization: generating one living dynamical system from two;

          • 10.

            Evolution of developmental mechanisms; Glossary; References; Index.

An article by Gabor Forgacs on the biological physics of morphogenesis will be appearing in an upcoming issue of

THE BIOLOGICAL PHYSICIST.

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