Building the next generation of virtual cells to understand cellular biology




Cell science has made significant progress by focusing on understanding individual cellular processes through reductionist approaches. However, the sheer volume of knowledge collected presents challenges in integrating this information across different scales of space and time to comprehend cellular behaviors, as well as making the data and methods more accessible for the community to tackle complex biological questions. This perspective proposes the creation of next-generation virtual cells, which are dynamic 3D models that integrate information from diverse sources, including simulations, biophysical models, image-based models, and evidence-based knowledge graphs. These virtual cells would provide statistically accurate and holistic views of real cells, bridging the gap between theoretical concepts and experimental data, and facilitating productive new collaborations among researchers across related fields.

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