The New York Times' John Markoff reports on a project by scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute, which have managed to simulate a single-cell bacterium using a computer program.
"Where I think our work is different is that we explicitly include all of the genes and every known gene function," the team's leader, Markus W. Covert, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, wrote in an e-mail. "There's no one else out there who has been able to include more than a handful of functions or more than, say, one-third of the genes."
The simulation, which runs on a cluster of 128 computers, models the complete life span of the cell at the molecular level, charting the interactions of 28 categories of molecules -- including DNA, RNA, proteins and small molecules known as metabolites that are generated by cell processes.
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