Modeling of Microbial World Comes of Age


Exploring the individuality of microbes

The fruits of the labor of the NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Individual-Based Ecology of Microbes: Observations and Modeling appear today in an opinion paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper argues that individual-based models are ideal for incorporating the intra-cellular dynamics of synthetic organisms in order to predict their behavior and fitness under various conditions

The paper advocates for what the authors call “microbial Individual-Based Ecology,” a combination of individual-based modeling and experimentation, arguing that this approach will lead to greater insights into ecology and evolution.

“The chance to observe, manipulate and model from first principles, from molecules via individuals to populations, communities, and ecosystems goes far beyond the current basis of ecological and evolutionary theory,” they write.

The Workshop met in June 2011.

Citation: Kreft U, et. al. 2013. Mighty small: Observing and modeling individual microbes becomes big science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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