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{bio,medical} informatics

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. The Standard Building a Better Bio-Supercomputer

"The biological and computing challenges posed by mapping the genome are daunting: What is the function of the more than 30,000 human genes decoded last summer? How many human proteins exist? (Scientists think there are at least a million.) Which proteins keep the heart beating; which ones repair damaged tissue; which ones help digest food? Just as important, how does a protein behave when a disease like Alzheimer's or colon cancer takes root? And which genes are generating those flawed proteins?

Some of these tasks, such as determining the function of different proteins, can be tackled with existing computer power - albeit lots of it. Others, such as understanding the role of proteins in promoting disease, can require a computer of a different magnitude. A bio-supercomputer is not radically different from a conventional supercomputer, but it does require certain strengths, including the ability to recognize complex chemical and biological patterns and carry out complicated data searches."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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