Review Article | Published:

From in vivo to in silico biology and back

Nature volume 443, pages 527533 (05 October 2006) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The massive acquisition of data in molecular and cellular biology has led to the renaissance of an old topic: simulations of biological systems. Simulations, increasingly paired with experiments, are being successfully and routinely used by computational biologists to understand and predict the quantitative behaviour of complex systems, and to drive new experiments. Nevertheless, many experimentalists still consider simulations an esoteric discipline only for initiates. Suspicion towards simulations should dissipate as the limitations and advantages of their application are better appreciated, opening the door to their permanent adoption in everyday research.

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Acknowledgements

We thank J. Reich, J. J. Collins, I. Mattaj and J. Gagneur for critical reading of the manuscript, and P. Beltrao and M. Isalan for helpful discussions. This work was financed partly by the EC grant, COMBIO.

Author information

Author notes

    • Barbara Di Ventura
    •  & Caroline Lemerle

    *These authors contributed equally to this work

Affiliations

  1. European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

    • Barbara Di Ventura
    • , Caroline Lemerle
    • , Konstantinos Michalodimitrakis
    •  & Luis Serrano

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Competing interests

Reprints and permissions information is available at www.nature.com/reprints. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Luis Serrano.

Supplementary information

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  1. 1.

    Supplementary Notes

    This file contains Supplementary Figures, (summarizing the constraint-based modelling approach) and Supplementary Discussion (gives details about the simulation (for example, reaction network, parameters) for each model discussed in the main text), and gives a detailed mathematical analysis for the model discussed in Figure 2.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05127

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