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Supercomputing Challenge

Cell growth

Team: 24


Area of Science: cellular biology

Interim: Team Number: 24
School Name: Bosque School
Area of Science: Cellular Physiology
Project Title: Cell Growth

Problem Definition:
The problem or situation we are trying to model is cell growth in a controlled, lab-like, environment. Cell growth is a relatively new field of biological science that still needs to be explored and questions need to be answered. Cell growth still puzzles some of the leading biology research scientists because of the complexity of their structure and the conditions under which they grow naturally. Cell growth research will be useful in the future to solve many medical problems such as organ transplantation, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and many more. It would be great that one day we could master cell growth. Also, temperature is a problem when transporting cells. Cells can and will die when not under the right temperature and environment. Even though it’s controversial, stem cell research is still in its beginning days.

Problem Solution:
Modeling cell growth is a step in the right direction for solving the problem. Using a model, we could tell how cells would react in an environment, see what problems arise, then think about how to solve them. Figuring out how to manipulate cells and getting them to do what we want is also a step in the right direction. Modeling stem cells might be an option.

Progress to date:
In the beginning, we learned how cells grew. We found this information in various books and other sources. We learned how a cell is formed and how they split. We researched how different types of cells reproduce differently. We still have a lot of questions about cell growth which we intend to answer in the next couple of weeks.

Right now, we have gotten individual cells to reproduce. Since we are using StarLogo we have found many difficulties in modeling. We have gotten the cells to grow into a mass. However, the groups split off and form other random groups of turtles, which represent cells. We plan to solve this problem by learning how to program them to stay together. From the Starlogo website ( we have learned how to get this far. So far, we have made many drafts of the project. All of which did not sufficiently model cell growth. We have not started modeling temperature problems, but we will soon. We may or may not model stem cells.

Expected results:
Eventually we expect to get the model up to our standards we set from our research. Below are some of the sources we used in setting our standards and doing our research. Due to our programming system, StarLogo, we are limited in the amount of graphic accuracy we can produce. Nevertheless, we intend to make a model that will accurately model, simulate, and virtually reproduce cells. We also plan to add temperature into the equation.

Team Members: Jens Deinst and Calvin Green

Sponsoring Teacher: Thomas Allen

Robert B. Stone, The Secret Life of Your Cells, 1989, Whitford Press, Atglen, PA
Boyce Rensberger, Life Itself, 1996, Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, New York
John Pfeiffer, The Cell, 1964, Time Inc., Morristown, New Jersey
Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell, 1974, The Viking Press, The Macmillan Company of Canada Lmtd., New York, New York
Ann Roller, Discovering the Basis of Life, 1974, McGraw-Hill, USA

Team Members:

  Jens Dienst
  Calvin Green

Sponsoring Teacher: Thomas Allen

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