First Computer Model of a Complete Organism MadeCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: July 24, 2012 04:26PM
Computers are very useful beyond just performing complex or long operations no human could do, or would want to do. They also allow us to create virtual replicas of real and imaginary things, thereby allowing us to experiment with them in ways not normally possible or easy. Now researchers at Stanford University have crated the first computer model of a free-living organism; Mycoplasma genitalium.
This organism is the smallest free-living organism, which is helpful for creating the model, as there are fewer parts to model the interactions of. In fact the genome has only 525 genes, compared to the 4288 of E. coli, a more common bacterium for research studies. Still the model had to incorporate 1900 parameters previously discovered by experiments.
Though this particular bacterium is somewhat small and not as significant as others, the creation of the model is. This accomplishment shows that bio-CAD is possible as researchers can tweak the interactions and genes within the model at will, unlike when working with the actual bacterium. Still, all findings within the model will have to be experimentally verified before being considered accurate, but this is not an unreasonable requirement for the first of these models.