The field of computational cell biology has emerged within the past 5 years because of the need to apply disciplined computational approaches to build and test complex hypotheses on the interacting structural, physical, and chemical features that underlie intracellular processes. To meet this need, newly developed software tools allow cell biologists and biophysicists to build models and generate simulations from them. The construction of general-purpose computational approaches is especially challenging if the spatial complexity of cellular systems is to be explicitly treated. This review surveys some of the existing efforts in this field with special emphasis on a system being developed in the authors' laboratory, . The theories behind both stochastic and deterministic simulations are discussed. Examples of respective applications to cell biological problems in RNA trafficking and neuronal calcium dynamics are provided to illustrate these ideas.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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