Blacksburg, Va. -- A Virginia Tech professor of biology says he is using math-based computer models to discover how cells process information and make decisions.
Professor John Tyson says he and other biologists want to know how jumbles of molecules can figure out how a cell should respond to its environment to survive, grow and reproduce.
"So we do what any good engineer would do," he said. "We create a mathematical model of the components and their interactions, and let the computer work out the details.
Tyson said scientists still do not have an engineer's understanding of normal mammalian cell proliferation and of what goes wrong in cancer cells.