Researchers from Stanford University have produced the first complete computer model of an organism, fulfilling a longstanding goal for the field.
A team led by Markus Covert, assistant professor of bioengineering, used data from over 900 scientific papers to account for every molecular interaction that takes place in the world’s smallest free-living bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium.
They successfully managed to encompass the entirety of an organism in silco, fulfilling a longstanding goal for the field. This new model will allow researchers to address questions that aren’t practical to examine otherwise, as well as marking a significant step towards the use of computer-aided design in bioengineering and medicine.
James M Anderson, director of the National Institutes of Health Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives said: “This achievement demonstrates a transforming approach to answering questions about fundamental biological processes.
“Comprehensive computer models of entire cells have the potential to advance our understanding of cellular function and, ultimately, to inform new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.”