TOOLS: Bodily Functions

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Science  05 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5774, pp. 665
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5774.665c

Don't fret if you can't get your simulation of aortic blood flow to work. Download one of the models available at SimTK. The site, hosted by researchers at Stanford University, is part of a project to devise and share “physics-based” models and software that emulate how force and motion affect a range of biological processes. Visitors can take home code that mimics RNA folding, blood dynamics, and ions jostling a large molecule. Plenty more projects are under way, including a model of the colon lining and SimBody, a dynamics program that can help researchers studying everything from molecular shape to walking. The site also offers modules that you can plug into your own creations to perform tasks such as rapidly solving linear equations. Researchers can contribute their models and algorithms to the site. Included is a simulation to gauge blood pressure and velocity in coarctation of the aorta, a congenital narrowing of the vessel.

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