Computer aided models of living organisms

Computer aided models of living organisms

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Mathematical modeling has been an important component of several biological disciplines for many decades. One of the earliest quantitative biological models involved ecology: the Lotka-Volterra model of species competition and predator-prey relationships In the context of cell biology, models and simulations are used to examine the structure and dynamics of a cell or organism's function, rather than the characteristics of isolated parts of a cell or organism. Such models must consider stochastic and deterministic processes, complex pleiotropy, robustness through redundancy, modular design, alternative pathways, and emergent behavior in biological hierarchy.
 
One goal of biology is to gain insight into the interactions, molecular or otherwise, that are responsible for the behavior of the cell. To do so, a quantitative model of the cell must be developed to integrate global organism-wide measurements taken at many different levels of detail. The development of such a model is iterative. It begins with a rough model of the cell, based on some knowledge of the components of the cell and possible interactions among them, as well as prior biochemical and genetic knowledge.
 
Although the assumptions underlying the model are insufficient and may even be inappropriate for the system being investigated, this rough model then provides a zeroth-order hypothesis about the structure of the interactions that govern the cell's behavior.                        



 
             
 
        
 
 
 

 

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