Scientists have been using a range of technologies over the years to map out molecular interactions, networks and functions to help understand how our cells work. For example, mathematical and computational models have allowed many questions to be answered. In this area of research, the focus has now shifted to combining these separate technologies to develop a computational model that could ‘visualise’ an entire cell. Pictured is an initial model of Mycoplasma mycoides – a bacterium that has a simpler structure than a human cell. The model was created using biological software called cellPACK, which combines structural biology and data algorithms to produce 3D models. Such molecular cell models will help us to better understand diseases, how drugs work and how cells interact, shortening the road to new, improved therapies.
Written by Katie Panteli
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.