This is not (necessarily) a model of M. genitalium - it's a model of our understanding of M. genitalium, and as such incorporates in everything that current technology in biological sciences allows us to look at. It takes a huge amount of data from many sources and tries to bring it together on a scale not previously done. However, that data may have significant flaws, biases and ultimately considers only what we're good at looking at (technologically/scientifically speaking). It's awesome, and 100% the right direction for the field, but equally it is not a, "synthetic life form being simulated" as much as, "a very very complicated model which uses huge amounts of multidimensional data to try and replicate the behavior seen in that data".
We used a combination of tracking concentrations and individual molecules. For specific macromolecules like DNA polymerase, RNA polymerase, ribosomes, etc we kept track of the position of each individual molecule. For other things like glucose, water, etc with very high copy number we just kept track of the copy number.
“These models are now in routine use around the world to study the metabolic properties of many organisms,” said Bernhard O. Palsson, a professor of bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, who added that they were used commercially to formulate commodity chemicals and biofuels.
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