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Particles and Fields

EPJ E Colloquium – From shear banding to elastic turbulence

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A new model provides an alternative description of atomic level gold bonding.

While simple Newtonian liquids are structured at the molecular scale, complex fluids are structured at the mesoscopic scale. Shear-banding is a ubiquitous phenomenon in complex fluids. It relates to the formation of regions (bands) with different fluidities and stacked along the velocity gradient direction. Shear banding is a transition towards a heterogeneous state induced by the flow itself. It’s been observed in many systems of practical relevance, including giant (wormlike) micelles, telechelic polymers, emulsions, clay suspensions, colloidal gels, star polymers, granular materials, or foams. Giant micelles, the subject of a recent EPJE Colloquium,

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EPJ E - Too cool to follow the law

Image: © Richert, Arizona State University

Study suggests viscous materials do not follow standard laws below a sub-melting point threshold.

So-called glass-formers are a class of highly viscous liquid materials that have the consistency of honey and turn into brittle glass once cooled to sufficiently low temperatures. Zhen Chen and his colleagues from Arizona State University, USA, have elucidated the behaviour of these materials as they are on the verge of turning into glass in an article just published in EPJE.

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EPJ E – Turbulent convection at the core of fluid dynamics

Buoyant convection of a fluid subjected to thermal differences is a classical problem in fluid dynamics. Its importance is compounded by its relevance to many natural and technological phenomena. For example, in the Earth atmosphere, the study of thermal convection allows us to do weather forecasts and, on larger time and length-scales, climate calculations. In the oceans, where there are differences in temperature and salinity, turbulent convection drives deep-water currents. Geology and astrophysics are other areas where thermal convection has great impact.

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EPJ E – Graphical abstracts now required in EPJ E

We are pleased to inform the readers and authors of EPJ E that from now on articles published in EPJ E will feature a graphical abstract. While it is not meant to provide specific results, this element will serve the purpose of conveying visually the gist of the article, along with the title. Authors may use an item already present in the manuscript or a purpose-made graphic. The use of color is strongly encouraged. Images previously published under the copyright of other publishers cannot be considered.

EPJ E - Giraffes are living proof that cells’ pressure matters

brain tumour
© bourbon numérik/Fotolia.com

A model that describes dividing cells within human tissues from the perspective of physicists could help further the understanding of cancer growth.

Physicists from the Curie Institute, France, explored the relative impact of the mechanical pressure induced by dividing cells in biological tissues. This approach complements traditional studies on genetic and biochemical signalling mechanisms to explain experimental observations of how biological tissues evolve. This work, recently published in EPJE, could have significant implications for the understanding of cancer growth.

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EPJ E - Modelling the demise of migrating brain tumour cells

© Sebastian Kaulitzki/iStockphoto

Evolution of brain tumour cells under treatment reveal that it is the peripheral tumour cells that need to be targeted

An Israeli physicist has developed a theoretical model to simulate the evolution of highly proliferating brain tumour core cells subjected to treatment by alternating radio frequency electric field. The research, by Alexander Iomin from the Israel Institute of Technology Technion in Haifa, has just been published in EPJE. In another model, the author examines the possibility of enhancing the level of treatment by targeting the outer area of the tumour.

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EPJ E - Make or break for cellular tissues

Models developed to study liquids are used to investigate the mechanics of cellular tissues, which could further our understanding of embryonic development and cancer.

In a study just published in EPJE, French physicists from the Curie Institute in Paris have demonstrated that the behaviour of a thin layer of cells in contact with an unfavourable substrate is akin to that of thin fluid or elastic films. Understanding the mechanism by which a thin layer of cells splits into disjointed patches, thus breaking the layer’s structural integrity, bears great significance because the human tissue, or epithelium, covering organs can only fulfil its role if there are no holes or gaps between the cells.

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EPJ E - Electric charge disorder: A key to biological order?

Strong attraction that arises between biological objects with random patches of electric charge on an otherwise neutral surface may partly explain pattern recognition in biology.

Theoretical physicist Ali Naji from the IPM in Tehran and the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues have shown how small random patches of disordered, frozen electric charges can make a difference when they are scattered on surfaces that are overall neutral. These charges induce a twisting force that is strong enough to be felt as far as nanometers or even micrometers away. These results, just published in EPJE, could help to understand phenomena that occurr on surfaces such as those of large biological molecules.

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EPJ E - Study on swirls to optimise contacts between fluids

Model gives clues on how to optimize homogeneous feeding of cells in suspension from a liquid nutriments supply in a bioreactor.

Physicists who have studied the mixing between two incompatible fluids have found that it is possible to control the undercurrents of one circulating fluid to optimise its exposure to the other. This work, which has just been published in EPJE, was performed by Jorge Peixinho from CNRS at Le Havre University, France, and his colleagues from the Benjamin Levich Institute, City University of New York, USA.

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Jean Francois Joanny awarded the 2012 Gentner-Kastler prize

The German Physical Society (DPG) and the French Physical Society (SFP) will present the 2012 Gentner-Kastler award to Professor Jean Francois Joanny of the Institut Curie, France. The former Editor in Chief and current External Advisor of EPJ E is nominated for his extraordinary contributions to the theory of soft matter, particularly for his work in polymer physics and biological physics. The prize will be presented March 29, 2012, during the Meeting of the German Physical Society in Berlin.

The Gentner-Kastler prize is awarded jointly by the German Physical Society for works in physics done alternatively in Germany or France.

Editors-in-Chief
L. Baudis, G. Dissertori, K. Skenderis and D. Zeppenfeld
Thank you for accepting the paper. Thanks also to the Associate Editor and the referee for their speedy and helpful comments during the review process. I will definitely keep EPJC in mind for future contributions.

Ravi Kuchimanchi

ISSN: 1434-6044 (Print Edition)
ISSN: 1434-6052 (Electronic Edition)

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