[Paper] Simulation of a complete cell

“A Whole-Cell Computational Model Predicts Phenotype from Genotype” by Jonathan Karr et al.

This paper appeared a few days ago in Cell, and describes a computational simulation of the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, conducted at this lab. The paper is behind a paywall, but is blogged about here. The simulation software is freely available from the project web site.

From the abstract: “Here, we present a ‘‘whole-cell’’ model of the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, a human urogenital parasite whose genome contains 525 genes. Our model attempts to: (1) describe the life cycle of a single cell from the level of individual molecules and their interactions; (2) account for the specific function of every annotated gene product; and (3) accurately predict a wide range of observable cellular behaviors.”

According to an editorial commentary in the same issue, this is the first simulation of a complete free-living microbe.