Researchers at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute (the group who made the first "synthetic" bacterium
) have produced a computational model that tracks the activities of every single gene in the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium
during its cell cycle (the researchers chose to model this bacterium because it has the smallest number of genes of any known organism). Here's the abstract from their paper, published in the journal Cell
Karr et al. 2012. A Whole-Cell Computational Model Predicts Phenotype from Genotype. Cell, 150:
NY Times summary: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/s...-software.html
The model, of course, is far from perfect and even the authors acknowledge that the model represents more of a "first draft" than a complete model. Indeed, M. genitalium
is not particularly easy to work with experimentally, so much of the data used to model the genes in M. genitalium
came from studies of similar genes in other bacteria. Nevertheless, the paper represents an interesting proof of principle that could lead to some very interesting work in the future.