Cell Sim: The Worst Case 

Let's say we wanted to create a complete portrait
of a single T-Lymphocyte down to the molecular level.

The CD-4 receptor of a T-Cell is the portal for all HIV infection,
so this is not a bad choice.

If a water molecule were as wide as your thumb,
T-Lymphocyte would be 4000 feet tall.

If a water molecule were as wide as a pixel,
ou would need a display that had 48,000 pixels by 48,000 pixels.

If each screen was 1K by 1K pixels,
would have a stack of 47 by 47 screens,
just to see one cell in action.

That is about the physical size of one IMAX screen,
but 64 times the pixel resolution in height and width.
That is 2200+ flat panel screens.

Assuming a bulk discount of $200 per screen,
he display stack would cost $442,000.

Three dimensional considerations complicate matters.
Since someone won't believe this, the spreadsheet is linked in.
To completely compute the activity on one cell in real time would require
120 billion Pentium 4 processors running at 2 GHz, assuming
each Pentium can handle 500 water molecule equivalents of activity.

That is a cube of processors about 5000 on a side.

Assuming a bulk discount of $10 dollars per CPU,
he computer would cost $1.2 trillion dollars.

Assuming 10 watts per CPU,
he computer would use 1.2 trillion watts of electricity,
nd would cost 3 billion dollars per day to keep in operation.

So the Carlisle group would probably throw in the display for free.

Upside, many genetic and infectious diseases could be simulated and cured.
Downside, the machine would contribute to global warming.

Assuming Moore’s law continues to hold true,
this will happen in 56 years. See you then.

I think there are better ways to look at this,
one way is to use cells themselves as computers.
More on that later.


- Van

L. Van Warren