Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Models of Life
Dynamics and Regulation in Biological Systems


  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107061903

$ 72.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an evaluation copy?

This title is not currently available for evaluation. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an evaluation copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Reflecting the major advances that have been made in the field over the past decade, this book provides an overview of current models of biological systems. The focus is on simple quantitative models, highlighting their role in enhancing our understanding of the strategies of gene regulation and dynamics of information transfer along signalling pathways, as well as in unravelling the interplay between function and evolution. The chapters are self-contained, each describing key methods for studying the quantitative aspects of life through the use of physical models. They focus, in particular, on connecting the dynamics of proteins and DNA with strategic decisions on the larger scale of a living cell, using E. coli and phage lambda as key examples. Encompassing fields such as quantitative molecular biology, systems biology and biophysics, this book will be a valuable tool for students from both biological and physical science backgrounds.

    • Encompasses fields such as quantitative molecular biology, systems biology and biophysics, providing a valuable tool for students from both biological and physical science backgrounds
    • Emphasises simple lessons from complex biological topics, covering gene regulation, feedbacks, genetic switches, epigenetics and networks
    • Features over 160 questions placed throughout the chapters, along with summary sections to explain key concepts
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Models of Life is an insight of a physicist into biological regulatory mechanisms. It provides a quantitative basis of how many of the biological systems work. Using simple logic and mathematics, Kim Sneppen, a world renowned scientist and thinker, has created a must-read for investigators in quantitative biology. The book provides a clear explanation of triumphant experiments in a lucid way with crisp figures. The brilliance of the author's analytical mind is on display when one sees how he explains some of the exciting paradigmatic regulatory systems, beginning with the basics of molecular biology. The book is also replete with intellectually challenging problem questions for readers, making the book an excellent text for students as well.' Sankar Adhya, National Cancer Institute, Maryland

    'Kim Sneppen's insightful book covers lots of ground in describing biological systems at different time and length scales and levels of resolution. Its different chapters unified by the author's modeling philosophy are sure to be of interest to a very diverse group of readers … Readers interested in agent-based modeling will find it applies to systems as diverse as epigenetics, propagation of information and evolutionary patterns in fossil records. Dedicated chapters combine biophysics and systems biology of gene regulation and protein-protein interactions. The book provides especially deep coverage of biology of phages, bacteria and their interactions within ecosystems. It would make an excellent textbook for one or even several university courses on systems or evolutionary biology. In fact when teaching these courses I will use it heavily myself and recommend it to my students.' Sergei Maslov, Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York

    'Sneppen has written a wonderfully friendly and readable book on the principles of biological cells for physicists. He presents concepts and models at a level that is sufficiently deep to convey powerful insights, while keeping the math to the absolutely minimal level that is needed to be clear and informative. This book is pioneering in covering scientific terrain that is largely not covered much elsewhere, but will be in the future - including feedback, regulation, networks, bistability in the lambda-phage switch, DNA looping, diffusion in cells, epigenetic regulation and cellular evolution. I highly recommend it as a deeply insightful book about the principles of biology and a great read.' Ken Dill, Laufer Center, Stony Brook University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107061903
    • length: 350 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.91kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 193 colour illus. 5 tables 165 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Life from a physics perspective
    2. E. coli as a model system
    3. Dynamics of regulatory links
    4. Statistical mechanics of phage λ
    5. Diffusion and randomness in transcription
    6. Stochastic genes and persistent decisions
    7. Gene regulation and epigenetics in cis
    8. Feedback circuits
    9. Networks
    10. Signalling and metabolic networks
    11. Agent-based models of signalling and selection
    12. Competition and diversity
    13. Evolution and extinction

  • Resources for

    Models of Life

    Kim Sneppen

    General Resources

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    *This title has one or more locked files and access is given only to lecturers adopting the textbook for their class. We need to enforce this strictly so that solutions are not made available to students. To gain access to locked resources you either need first to sign in or register for an account.

    These resources are provided free of charge by Cambridge University Press with permission of the author of the corresponding work, but are subject to copyright. You are permitted to view, print and download these resources for your own personal use only, provided any copyright lines on the resources are not removed or altered in any way. Any other use, including but not limited to distribution of the resources in modified form, or via electronic or other media, is strictly prohibited unless you have permission from the author of the corresponding work and provided you give appropriate acknowledgement of the source.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

  • Author

    Kim Sneppen, Niels Bohr Institutet, Copenhagen
    Kim Sneppen is Professor of Physics at the Niels Bohr Institute and Director of the interdisciplinary Center for Models of Life (CMOL) at Copenhagen University, Denmark. Drawing on experience across several academic disciplines, his work explores the frontier between complex dynamical systems and living systems, and in his role at CMOL he promotes hands-on development of quantitative models of central biological processes. Sneppen is also co-author of Physics in Molecular Biology (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.