Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Simulating the cell, one molecule at a time

04.03.2010
A novel technique for ultrahigh-precision simulation of cellular dynamics has enabled researchers to uncover a mechanism underlying a ubiquitous response process in eukaryotic cells.

The findings, to appear in the upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), mark a first step toward the full-scale molecular-level simulation of biological cells.

Signaling processes in cells depend on a complex web of interactions whose macro-level behavior arises from micro-level dynamics of molecules. In mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades, a key pathway for signaling, such dynamics have been shown to generate rich phenomena such as ultrasensitivity and bistability that are critical to biological function. Conventional techniques for modeling MAPK, however, ignore such micro-scale dynamics to reduce computational time.

With their latest work, researchers at RIKEN and the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), Holland, have sidestepped this problem. The group applied a technique they developed, enhanced Green Function Reaction Dynamics (eGFRD), to simulate particle-level dynamics of the MAPK system, dramatically reducing computation time. Their results reveal that micro-level details of the interaction between enzyme and substrate molecules, overlooked in earlier models, can have a dramatic impact on the nature of response.

While challenging conventional theory, the findings also prelude an era of cellular simulations on a level of molecular detail never before possible. By exploiting the power of RIKEN's Next- Generation Supercomputer, currently under construction in Kobe, the new technique opens the door to the full-scale simulation of living cells, with key applications to cancer and stem cell research.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Koichi Takahashi
Biochemical Simulation Research Team, Computational Systems Biology Research Group
Advanced Computational Sciences Department
RIKEN Advanced Science Institute
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-9430 / Fax: +81-(0)45-503-9429
Ms. Saeko Okada (PI officer)
Global Relations Office
RIKEN
Tel: +81-(0)48-462-1225 / Fax: +81-(0)48-462-4715
Mail: koho@riken.jp

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp/engn/r-world/research/results/2010/100129/index.html
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>