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Medicine Programming Science

Virtual Lab Rat Saves Human Lives 69

An anonymous reader writes "There is already a Virtual Physiological Human project going on in Europe, to program a simulated human that can serve as a guinea pig, but this National Institute of Health effort to program a Virtual Physiological Rat promises to help humans even more. It's too difficult to simulate humans with algorithms, but the simpler rat physiology can be easily programmed, and by hand-tweaking its virtual genes, these rats-in-an-algorithm can be set up to what-if about interventions that cure human diseases more easily that when simulating humans directly. Long live the virtual lab rat!"
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Virtual Lab Rat Saves Human Lives

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  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @07:53PM (#37124656)
    Biologists generally do work on the simplest model organisms they can. Cheaper, generally easier to study, fewer variables to screw up the results, and cheaper again. There's a reason you probably never hear about drug tests in chimpanzees: they're more complicated and hideously expensive to keep compared to e.coli, frogs, fish, mice, or rats.

    The driving force behind this project itself is probably economics, someone got tired of wasting money on real rats when virtual ones might suffice.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham