About the simulator

All about the simulator

Introducing the simulator

You will shortly be conducting virtual experiments using a microbial simulator but first you need to understand a few things about how it works. The simulator begins with a single cell that then divides into two. These cells then divide again to produce four cells, and again to produce eight and so on for ten generations.
Each time a cell divides there is a small chance that it will mutate. The simulator models each cell as having three phase variable genes that can either be in an ON or OFF state. Each gene has a small chance of switching state at every division. In order to allow you to visualise the changes in genotype, each genotype is indicated in a different colour (as shown on the right of the simulator).
Each genotype is also indicated as a three digit code. The three digits correspond to the three genes and show a 1 for ON and a 0 for OFF so a code of 000 means all three are OFF, 010, means the second gene is ON and the others are OFF and 110 means the first and second genes are ON but the third is OFF and so on. The panel on the right of the simulator will give you running totals on the number of each genotype present.
To start the simulator you simply need to select one of the four mutation rate options. You can pause the simulator at any time by clicking the pause button in the bottom left; and unpause by clicking it again. The simulator itself will pause to draw you attention to certain events.
After the simulation is complete you can move through the timeline of the simulator by dragging the slider at the bottom back and forth. Clicking the 'restart' button will take you back to the mutation rate selection screen and allow you to start a new simulation.

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