Structural modelling can be used to generate hypotheses about the structure (and therefore to imply things about the biochemical function) of macromolecules.

Modelling of processes is an important aspect of systems biology. A review by Bartocci and Lió provides a good summary of the kinds of processes that are amenable to systems modelling, and some examples of tools that enable you to do this. You can download mathematical models in a number of standard formats from the BioModels Database. Check out our Biomodels: Quick tour to learn more about this.

Systems modelling forms part of a cycle in which experimental biology plays an equally important role: a typical systems modelling cycle involves building a model that represents what you know about the biology then testing to see whether it behaves in the same way as the biological system itself. If not, you tweak the model to come closer to the biological system and repeat the cycle until your model faithfully represents reality.

Try our guided example on structural modelling of IRAK2.