Computer simulations aid drug development and medical care
Like millions of people in the United States, Bill and Allen have asthma. They're lucky enough to take the newest therapies, sometimes even before the drugs come to market. Yet neither Bill nor Allen has ever been to a doctor's office or the hospital. After all, it's okay if they get sick or even die–a simple click of a mouse can restore these patients to perfect health. Bill and Allen are two of the newest subjects in a growing research area called in silico biology. As basic researchers, drug developers, doctors, and health-care administrators struggle with the sheer volume and complexity of scientific information that they face every day, information gathered from computer-generated patients like Bill and Allen may lead to better decisions.