Cell Simulation

Petr Kuzmic pkuzmic at facstaff.wisc.edu
Fri Oct 27 15:44:51 EST 2000

Rich Cooper wrote:
> Does anyone see a need for commercially supported simulation
> services that might provide the support researchers need to conduct
> very large, very complex simulations?  Something that might be an
> ASP type of service, with a modest monthly fee ...

Personally, I think you are probably ahead of your time here.  You are
asking about the viability of a commercial service in cellular
simulations, as if there already existed an accepted methodology for
mathematical simulation of cellular processes.  The fact is, Science
will have to come before Business here, but in my opinion this kind of
science is not yet mature enough.

Please note in the Chemical & Engineering News, October 16, 2000, an
article on page 24.  You'll see a picture of Nobel laureate Alfred
Gilman (discoverer of G-protein signaling in cells) sitting in front of
a computer, talking about the "Alliance for Cellular Signaling"
(http://afcs.swmed.edu/).  He is the director of this new organization,
funded by the federal government (National Institute of General Medical
Sciences) and a dozen pharma companies.  

The idea is to put on the Internet, for a free access by anyone, partial
results from experimental and theoretical (simulation) studies of
individual pieces of the cellular signaling puzzle. The "Alliance" folks
talk about individual "molecule pages", which anyone will be able to
access and even re-publish in their own papers if they can find use for
the results.  For speed of publication, there will not be journal
articles, but the "Alliance" website(s) will be internally


Anyway, it's all just at the beginning.  It'll take quite a few years of
cranking out tons of experimental data, as well as developing entirely
new computational strategies, before anyone will be able to build a
credible mathematical model of a cancerous cell.  I think that is what
you are interested in selling, but if you look at
http://afcs.swmed.edu/, you can probably see that the market for your
service probably isn't there given the state of the basic science in
this area.

Hope this helps,

	- Petr

P e t r   K u z m i c,  Ph.D.               mailto:pkuzmic at biokin.com
BioKin Ltd. * Software and Consulting           http://www.biokin.com

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