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{bio,medical} informatics

Friday, February 15, 2002

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find related articles. powered by google. Yahoo! News How Origami Helps Science, Saves Lives

"By using computers to solve origami shape and folding challenges, scientists are applying the ancient Japanese art of paper folding to solve problems in the creation of such high-tech devices as a folding space telescope and automobile airbags."

"Referencing applications of origami in robotic arm manipulation, bioinformatics, protein folding and molecular biology, Demaine said there is a multitude of possibilities from origami principles as simple as folding a square piece of paper in half and making one calculated cut."

find related articles. powered by google. Erik Demaine Folding and Unfolding Page

"Folding and unfolding is an exciting area of geometry. It is attractive in the way that problems and even results can be easily understood, with little knowledge of mathematics or computer science, yet the solutions are difficult and involve many sophisticated techniques. The general sort of problem considered is how a particular object (e.g., linkage, piece of paper, polyhedron, or protein) can be reconfigured or folded according to a few constraints, which depend on the object being folded and the problem of interest. In particular, we are interested in efficient algorithms for characterizing foldability, and finding efficient folding processes, or in proving that such algorithms are impossible."

redux [07.30.01]
find related articles. powered by google. HHMI Bulletin Rosetta Tackles the Extreme Origami of Protein Folding

"Protein folding has been called one of the great unsolved mysteries of molecular biology, a process too complex and elusive to predict with accuracy. Recently, however, a team led by HHMI investigator David Baker at the University of Washington School of Medicine has begun making predictions that one admiring expert compares to a string of home runs."

"Baker has developed a computational technique, called Rosetta, that predicts the ways in which proteins, which start out as the string-like amino acid sequences that emerge from the protein-synthesis machinery, undergo a folding process that might be dubbed "extreme origami.""

[ 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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