Bioinformatics: Where Biology meets Computer Science

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Computational methods are becoming an increasingly important aspect of the evaluation and analysis of experimental data in molecular biology. The use of computational methods towards solving problems in biology is known as bioinformatics. The field of bioinformatics is constantly redefining itself as methods for collecting biological data are developed and refined. While the future directions of the field are impossible to predict, one conclusion seems to be evident: computational techniques have changed the way in which biologists collect and analyze experimental data. Computation will continue to be a prominent component of biochemistry and molecular biology research for the foreseeable future. While early studies developed the techniques necessary to sequence entire genomes, scientists are now investigating the interacting mechanisms that control the expression of genes. Ambitious new efforts are underway to identify the complex biological pathways of interaction between genes, the proteins for which they code, and the various metabolic intermediates acted upon by these proteins. Advances in understanding these sorts of large scale biological problems bear enormous promise for improving the human condition.



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