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Virtual Virus is First Simulation of an Entire Life Form

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posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 07:25 PM
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This is no ordinary computer virus. Using a real-life virus as a model, researchers have built a virtual version using more than a million digital atoms.

Scientists have previously simulated small pieces of living cells, but researchers say this is the first digital simulation of an entire life form.

The achievement could lead to a better understanding of the inner workings of viruses and improvements in human health, the researchers say. It could also be used to help build nanomachines surrounded by shells similar to the protein capsid shell that protects viruses and helps them determine when to latch onto potential host cells.


LiveScience.com


Pretty cool, alot of different and positive results can/will come from this.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 07:34 PM
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Ghost in the machine





What a way to analyze "living organisms" giving a 3D view to what could become a great medical tool



posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by Eden
What a way to analyze "living organisms" giving a 3D view to what could become a great medical tool


It could also eliminate the need for animal testing eventually. 50 years from now, animal testing will probably be looked on as a crude and cruel method of study, much as we currently view how often human "experiments" were done in just about every country 60 years ago.

[edit on 29-3-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

Originally posted by Eden
What a way to analyze "living organisms" giving a 3D view to what could become a great medical tool


It could also eliminate the need for animal testing eventually. 50 years from now, animal testing will probably be looked on as a crude and cruel method of study, much as we currently view how often human "experiments" were done in just about every country 60 years ago.

[edit on 29-3-2006 by sardion2000]



I hope you are right but i don't think this will happen. Building a living simulation is one thing, simulating the effects of a drug on an entire organism is a totally different thing. Sadly i think we are still going to test on animals for even longer than most people think, just because of the amount of interactions that are caused when a drug is introduced into any living system. It has to be done.



posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 12:23 AM
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Hehe, reminds me of that simple "Life" simulation, where they have a grid with squares, and each iteration, the squares either stay, multiply, or disappear, depending on how many neighbouring squares they have. Only this is billions of times more complex, and much much cooler
The computer power alone needed to do such a thing is quite impressive, and hopefully this will lead to insight into viruses and how to treat illnesses caused by them.

With the animal testing thing, I think this might eventually help reduce the need for animal testing, but it won't eliminate it. For example, if you run a simulation, and you find that drug X made the animal swell up and explode, well, you probably won't be doing any live tests with that drug, and thus sparing a few innocent animals. But, naturally, if the simulation is a success, you would move on to testing on real animals, since simulations never take into account every single variable that might crop up, especially in the medical/biological fields. So in other words, I think we will someday be able to filter out the worst drugs before they even hit animal testing, but even that is a definite improvement.



posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 01:14 AM
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It is my understanding that because virii do not contain cells they are not considered "life" by science. So it seems they have not simulated life.

I searched around the net and found a bunch of sites which more or less state this. Here's one that I found to be fairly clear.

serc.carleton.edu...

Vas



posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 01:26 AM
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Actually, when I asked this question of my Biology teacher, he says that they straddle the line. By this, I assume he means that a relatively strong argument can be made for or against.

A concrete, quantafiable definition for life has yet to be discovered.

[edit on 30-3-2006 by sardion2000]



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