by Narendra S. Goel and Richard L. Thompson


Self-organization in biological systems is ubiquitous. Examples include the folding of globular proteins, formation of protein quaternary structures, bacteriophage assembly, the aggregation of cells into tissues and embryos, and protein biosynthesis. It is now possible to carry out computer simulations for many of these systems, with the aim of achieving greater understanding of such systems and prediction their behavior.

This is the background to this book which shows what can be achieved today with simulation of such systems on microcomputers. The first five chapters describe the essence of computer modeling and general principles of organization of biological systems. A new class of models, the movable finite automata (MFA) models, are introduced. Part II gives detailed examples of biological systems, the models for many of which have been developed by the authors. Many are concerned with aspects of molecular or developmental biology. Because of limitation of space, detailed computer programs are not provided. The book should interest a wide range of biologists, biophysicists, biochemists, computer scientists, and physicists, more and more of whom are using computer modeling .