"A simulation seeks to recreate an approximation or appearance of something, whereas an emulation seeks to recreate de facto functionality. So, if the Open Worm project is successful, and the brain of a nematode worm perfectly recreated in the digital realm, we'd be talking about an emulation and not a simulation. This is an important distinction from an ethical perspective, because there's the potential for harm, and consequently, moral consideration."

"To be fair, scientists have already created a computational model of an actual organism, namely the exceptionally small free-living bacteria known as Mycoplasma genitalia. It's an amazing accomplishment, but the pathogen — with its 525 genes — is one of the world's simplest organisms. Contrast that with E. coli, which has 4,288 genes, and humans, who have anywhere from 35,000 to 57,000 genes."

"One of the more exciting aspects of this project is the open source nature of it all. Larson says that every line of code produced by the project is shared on GitHub as it is written, meaning that anyone in the world can watch as they assemble the simulation."

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