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The incredible mysterious hidden networks... [Mar. 20th, 2011|01:23 pm]
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I was chatting in bed one morning, and we got talking about cells.

How they keep splitting and become creatures!

There's biology books detailing some of it, but I'm wondering how a programmed simulation of cells would function... perhaps 2D ones?

What data structures would I need? What kinds of algorithms on those structures?

We figured out early on that cells must know where they are in a relative context - where bone ends and cartilage starts... where the white of the eye ends and the iris starts...

But what about cells in the middle of the eye, or bone? We come up with the idea of chemical gradients... some cells produce chemicals that gradually become more dilute the further from the emitters they are - based on the chemical's strength a cell can figure out where it is.

We also thought that perhaps bone has a big part to play in gross physical anatomy - giving flesh locations to grow from.

I'm aware that foetus' as they grow, fold and merge, and some cells die for the sake of the ever increasing complexity of the organism.

So should we cheat and google?

If you've not had prior experience with this, see what ideas you can come up with too!

(I'm afraid to google it, and not find any computer simulation for growing organisms at all - I don't want to know that we don't have enough information to understand it properly!)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: util
2011-03-20 04:13 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Reminds me of Conway's game of life and cellular automata.

Or you could have the equivalent of DNA (code) plus the epi-genome (state that gets copied even with splits, subject to alteration by the environment, including on purpose by other cells). You could use epi-genome (plus other non-copyable state) to tell a cell what it is supposed to be -- middle of eye, bone, etc.
From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-22 10:01 am (UTC)

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