Computer Simulates Full Organism for 1st Time
Single-cell Mycoplasma genitalium, now available by hard drive
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2012 3:55 PM CDT
Single-cell bacteria, floating around.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Maybe they'll computerize an entire human brain one day—or even just a couple of cells. For now, Stanford scientists have created the first-ever software simulation of a full single-cell organism, the New York Times reports. It is incredibly small: a bacterium called the Mycoplasma genitalium, which has the unenviable task of causing sexually transmitted disease. Still, scientists are calling it a first step toward laboratories replacing traditional instruments with computer simulations altogether.

And scientists stumbled on a neat fact—that running a simulation for the division of a single cell took half a gigabyte of data. "I find this fact completely fascinating, because I don’t know that anyone has ever asked how much data a living thing truly holds," wrote Markus Covert, one Stanford scientist. So how about computerizing a bigger organism, like E. Coli or an entire human cell? "I'll have the answer in a couple of years," wrote Covert.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Computer Simulates Full Organism for 1st Time is...
1%
2%
18%
1%
73%
4%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 20 comments
elderban
Jul 21, 2012 6:29 PM CDT
Ya'll are just reading what you WANT to read, either that or you need to get laid.
Doug_Masters
Jul 21, 2012 8:14 AM CDT
::YAWN:: Call me when they stimulate a full orgasm.
InferiorToYou
Jul 21, 2012 6:38 AM CDT
Very interesting. This could make bench science in Molecular Biology and protein crystallography obsolete