This is a preview and has not been published. View submission

Where Physics Meets Biology


  • Mario Nicodemi University of Naples Federico II



Technology management, ethical organizations, physics, biology


The frontier between Life and Physical Sciences currently includes the strategic research field where the wealth of data produced by new quantitative technologies in molecular biology naturally meets the advanced analysis and modelling tools of theoretical physics. For its profound scientific implications and huge potential impacts in biomedicine it is attracting substantial interest. Here I briefly review some of the developments in such a field.


Andersson, R. et al. (2014), “An atlas of active enhancers across human cell types and tissues”, Nature, 507: 455-461.

Barbieri, M. et al. (2012), “Complexity of chromatin folding is captured by the strings and binders switch model”, PNAS, 109: 16173-16179.

Barbieri, M. et al. (2017), “Active and poised promoter states drive folding of the extended HoxB locus in mouse embryonic stem cells”, Nature Struct. Mol. Bio., 24: 515-520.

Beagrie, R., Scialdone, A. et al. (2017), “Complex multi- enhancer contacts captured by Genome Architecture Mapping (GAM), a novel ligation-free approach”, Nature, 543: 519-524.

Bianco, S. et al. (2018), “Polymer Physics Predicts the Effects of Structural Variants on Chromatin Architecture”, Nature Genetics, 50: 662-667.

Conte, M., et al. (2020), “Polymer physics indicates chromatin folding variability across single-cells results from state degeneracy in phase-separation”, Nature Com., 11: 3289-3295.

de Gennes P.G., Scaling (1979), Concepts in Polymer Physics, Cornell University Press.

Dekker, J. and Mirny, L. (2016), “The 3D Genome as Modera- tor of Chromosomal Communication”, Cell, 164: 1110-1121.

Dellino, G.I., et al. (2019), “Release of stalled RNA-Polymerase II at specific loci and chromatin domains favors spontaneous DNA double strand breaks formation and predicts cancer translocations”, Nature Genetics, 51: 1011-1017.

Dixon, J. R., Gorkin, D. U. and Ren, B. (2016), “Chromatin Domains: The Unit of Chromosome Organization”, Mol. Cell, 62: 668-680.

Feynman, R. P., Leighton, R. B., Sands, M. (1964, revised edition 2005), The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Addison-Wesley.

Fiorillo, L., Musella, F. et al. (2021), “Comparison of the Hi-C, GAM and SPRITE methods using polymer models of chromatin”, Nature Methods, 18: 482-487.

Finn, E. H. and Misteli, T. (2019), “Molecular basis and biological function of variability in spatial genome organization”, Science, 365: eaaw9498.

Fraser, J. et al. (2015), “Hierarchical folding of chromosomes is linked to transcriptional changes in cellular differentiation”, Molecular Systems Biology, 11: 852-858.

Kempfer, R. and Pombo, A. (2019), “Methodsformapping3D chromosome architecture”, Nature Reviews Genetics, 21: 207-226.

Kragesteen, B.K., et al. (2018), “Dynamic 3D chromatin architecture contributes to enhancer specificity and limb morphogenesis”, Nature Genetics, 50: 1463-1468.

Sigal, Y. M., Zhou, R., Zhuang, X. (2018), “Visualizing and discovering cellular structures with super-resolution microscopy”, Science, 361: 880-887.

Spielmann, M., Lupianez, D.G. and Mundlos, S. (2018), “Structural variation in the 3D genome”, Nature Reviews Genetics, 19: 453-467.


How to Cite

Nicodemi, M. Where Physics Meets Biology. PuntOorg International Journal, 1–5.