Research Article

Simultaneous cross-evaluation of heterogeneous E. coli datasets via mechanistic simulation

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Science  24 Jul 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6502, eaav3751
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav3751

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Testing biochemical data by simulation

Can a bacterial cell model vet large datasets from disparate sources? Macklin et al. explored whether a comprehensive mathematical model can be used to verify or find conflicts in massive amounts of data that have been reported for the bacterium Escherichia coli, produced in thousands of papers from hundreds of labs. Although most data were consistent, there were data that could not accommodate known biological results, such as insufficient output of RNA polymerases and ribosomes to produce measured cell-doubling times. Other analyses showed that for some essential proteins, no RNA may be transcribed or translated in a cell's lifetime, but viability can be maintained without certain enzymes through a pool of stable metabolites produced earlier.

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