OpenWorm, a new open-source project devoted to creating a complete virtual model of a worm, aims to bring simulation into the living world by creating a digital organism -- C. elegans, a nematode commonly used as a model organism in biology research.
The goal is to make a digital worm that mimics its biological counterpart in essentially every way, from the molecular level to behavioral patterns.
They're using a largely bottom-up approach, bringing together data from scientific observations of C. elegans from the past decade to simulate every aspect of the worm within a program, starting with the basics of its cell behavior. While C. elegans has been so widely studied, there's plenty of data out there on its neurons and muscular structure -- that data just needs to be integrated to create a full model.
"Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, and also worms."
Someone tell Stross that his lobsters are on the way.