Lipids molecules exhibit a number of strange properties, integral
to a cell's ability to separate self from non-self in a chemically
diverse environment. At the mesoscopic scale, membranes exhibit
mechanical effects that serve to organize lipids and proteins. In a
number of case studies, the physics of elastic bilayers suggests
how lipids and proteins organize in a membrane when bilayer
deformation is present. This text systematically describes how one
dissects the deformations of a bilayer that are induced either by
the presence of membrane proteins, multiple lipid phases, or
membrane vesicle adhesion. A mix of new experimental research, as
well as support from the existing literature is used to discuss the
relevance of such elastic theories in both model membrane systems
and their biological counterparts. These elastic theories are used
to examine membrane-mediated protein-protein interactions,
morphological transitions and organization of lipid domains,
membrane adhesion, membrane crowding, and mechanosensation and
osmoregulation in bacteria and model systems. The text and
appendices fully outline all relevant theory and experimental
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