The Most Complete Simulation of a Cell Probes Life’s Hidden Rules

From the bizarre creatures in the depths of the oceans to the bacteria inside our bodies, all life on Earth consists of cells. But we have only a very rough idea of how even the simplest of those cells function.

Now, as described recently in Cell, a team at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and their colleagues have created the most complete computer simulation ever of a living cell. With this digital model, biologists can burst through nature’s constraints and accelerate their exploration of how the most basic unit of life ticks—and what would happen if it ticked differently.

“Imagine being able from

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