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Samuel Safran

 Dropping in: How Street-Corner Organelles Come Together

Synthetic cells reveal the secrets of protein affinity in living cells


Applying physics to studying heart cells reveals a spring-and-treadmill-like mechanism that keeps them beating


Nanoscale “slit” experiments may point to better porous materials for electricity storage

Prof. Samuel Safran

Prof. Samuel Safran has been selected to serve as the first editor-in-chief of The Biophysicist, a new journal of the Biophysical Society

A chicken heart muscle cell under a fluorescent microscope; the filaments consist of repeated subunits (bright dotted lines). The schematic representation shows three neighboring filaments; the black lines are the boundaries of their subunits, such that the lower filament is aligned with the middle one, while the upper one is not
A new model shows that the filaments in heart muscle cells don't automatically keep the beat
(l-r) Dr. Benjamin Friedrich, Prof. Samuel Safran, Dr. Yair Shokef  and Elon Langbeheim. Looking underneath

Developing cells “feel” what is underneath and take shape accordingly

Prof. Samuel Safran


Top: The cell pulls to maintain a fixed stretch in the gel. Middle:  If the gel is externally stretched, the cell can reduce the force it exerts.  Bottom: If the gel is alternately stretched and relaxed, the frustrated cell  cannot "decide" how much force to exert. This results in the cell orienting  perpendicular to the stretch direction
Cells in biomaterials respond to the speed with which the material is stretched
Dr. Nir Gov. Moving models

Red blood cells must be flexible yet tough. A physics-based model shows how.

illustration:"Buckyball" discovery
They sound like characters in a miniature fantasyland: fullerene, nanotube and quantum dot. But these and other nanosized...