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Curly'on - IGEM 2014 INSA-LYON

What is modeling?

Modeling is building and using a model. What is a model then? It is a theoretical way to explain a phenomenon in a simpler fashion than the real thing. It consists in observing a problem or a phenomenon, identifying what parameters may influence it and sorting them out so that only the most important ones are kept, and finally find out how they are related. With this, you are able to explain what happens accurately enough to be able to predict what would happen under different conditions. As such, it can take many shapes. Here are some examples of models:

Mathematical equations
Widely spread, it enables to model anything !
graphe de l'equation
Ugh! No thank you...
Numerical simulations
Sometimes easier to use, but there may not exist a program yet for what you want to model...
I'm not really good with computers. ^^"
Drawings and outlines
A plain drawing is often enough to explain the processes behind a given mechanism without explaining what is happening at every level, especially in biology !
schema mitose
OH ! I know this one !

CurLy'on team's modeling work

As very little literature exists about curli models, especially about their structure, this year we chose to work along two directions:
  1. we studied a molecular model of the curlin elementary subunit, CsgA, and it's engineered form;
  2. we developed both a mathematical model describing the polymerization of CsgA, and a simulation program of the same phenomenon ; our aim was for those two models to serve as a basis for future teams working with curli.