KITP, UC Santa Barbara
Understanding how a genetically encoded program of development defines the physical form of a multicellular organism is one of the fundamental problems of biology. Remarkably, thanks to the great advances in developmental biology, we now find ourselves in the situation where we know more about developmental genes than about the physical processes involved in shaping the tissues. Here, Developmental Biology meets the emerging field of Living Matter Physics. This talk will review the physical phenomena involved in morphogenesis and provide some examples of physics ideas, quantitative models and tools that are being used to describe cell and tissue mechanics that underlies morphogenesis. Combination of quantitative experiments with mathematical models helps to uncover hidden simplicity in biological processes. On the flip side, the study of mechanics of morphogenesis enriches Physics with new concepts, models and challenges.