A new study published in the journal Journal of Molecular Biology shows how developments in molecular biology and computer science around the world can soon lead to a three-dimensional model of a cell, the fundamental unit of life. According to the researchers, this progress could mean a new era for biological research, medical science, and human and animal health.
“Cells are the foundation of life,” the researchers said in their study. “Recently, there has been tremendous progress in biomolecular modeling that promotes understanding of life on a molecular level. Now, the focus is shifting to larger systems, up to the whole cell level. We try to capture this emerging milestone development in computational structural biology, which is the tectonic shift from the modeling of individual biomolecular processes to modeling the entire cell. ”
The study analyzes a number of methodologies that are the path to a three-dimensional whole cell simulation, including biological network studies, automated 3D modeling of cells with experimental data, modeling of protein complexes, prediction of interactions proteins, thermodynamic and kinetic effects of cell membrane modeling, and chromosome modeling.
“Several techniques required for this purpose are already available. It is only a matter of putting them together in a coherent process to deal with this problem, “the researchers also state in their study. “It is difficult because we have just begun to understand the main mechanisms of life on a molecular level, and although they seem extremely complex, it is in our ability to understand how they operate at the molecular level but also to model it.”