Study of the cell will never be complete unless its dynamic behavior is understood. The complex behavior of the cell cannot be determined or predicted unless a computer model of the cell is constructed and computer simulation is undertaken. Rapid accumulation of biological data from genome, proteome, transcriptome and metabolome projects can bring us to the point where it is no longer purely speculative to discuss how to construct virtual cells in silico. This article describes attempts to construct whole cell models. The E-CELL project has completed a couple of virtual cell models, and computer simulations have revealed some biological surprises.
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