Biological computing

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  • As you worked your way through high school, or otherwise worked to prepare yourself for college, you were probably unaware that an information explosion was taking place in the field of biology. This explosion, brought on by advances in biotechnology and communicated by faster, more powerful computers, has allowed scientists to gather data more quickly and disseminate data to colleagues in the global scientific community with the click of a mouse.

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  • The Brazilian Symposium on Bioinformatics (BSB) 2008 was held at Santo Andr´e (S˜ao Paulo), Brazil, August 28–30, 2008. BSB 2008 was the third symposium in the BSB series, although BSB was preceded by the Brazilian Workshop on Bioinformatics (WOB). This previous event had three consecutive editions in 2002 (Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul), 2003 (Maca´e, Rio de Janeiro), and 2004 (Bras´ılia, Distrito Federal). The change from workshop to symposium reflects the increasing quality and interest behind this meeting.

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  • Bioinformatics ? Biology and Computers ? What do they have to do with each other? I suppose that this question could have been raised even in 19th century when technologies of computers and biology were just emerging. At one city in France the great Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was studying how fermentation of alcohol was linked to the existence of a specific microorganism. In another city in England, equally great Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was oiling his Analytical Engine in which Ada Lovelace, a mathematician who understood Babbage's vision, was trying to calculate the Bernoulli numbers.

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  • Immediately after the first drafts of the human genome sequence were reported almost a decade ago, the importance of genomics and functional genomics studies became well recognized across the broad disciplines of biological sciences research.

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  • Computational chemistry and molecular modeling is a fast emerging area which is used for the modeling and simulation of small chemical and biological systems in order to understand and predict their behavior at the molecular level. It has a wide range of applications in various disciplines of engineering sciences, such as materials science, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, etc.

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  • Nowadays it is difficult to imagine an area of knowledge that can continue developing without the use of computers and informatics. It is not different with biology, that has seen an unpredictable growth in recent decades, with the rise of a new discipline, bioinformatics, bringing together molecular biology, biotechnology and information technology.

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  • Computational biology is undergoing a revolution from a traditionally compute-intensive science conducted by individuals and small research groups to a high-throughput, datadriven science conducted by teams working in both academia and industry. It is this new biology as a data-driven science in the era of Grid Computing that is the subject of this chapter.

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  • Biological signal analysis1 encompasses several interdisciplinary topics that deal with analysing signals generated by various physiological processes in the human body. These signals could be electrical, chemical or acoustic in origin and an analysis of these signals are often useful in explaining and/or identifying pathological conditions of the human body. However, these signals in their rawest form do not provide much information and therefore, the motivation behind biological signal analysis is to extract (i.e. to reveal) the relevant information.

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  • Computational Biology and Applied Bioinformatics Edited by Heitor Silvério Lopes and Leonardo Magalhães Cruz Published by InTech Janeza Trdine 9, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia Copyright © 2011 InTech All chapters are Open Access articles distributed under the Creative Commons Non Commercial Share Alike Attribution 3.0 license, which permits to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the work in any medium, so long as the original work is properly cited.

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  • This book synthesizes current research in the integration of computational intelligence and pattern analysis techniques, either individually or in a hybridized manner. The purpose is to analyze biological data and enable extraction of more meaningful information and insight from it. Biological data for analysis include sequence data, secondary and tertiary structure data, and microarray data.

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  • Physicists pretend not only to know everything, but also to know everything bet- ter. This applies in particular to computational statistical physicists like US. Thus many of our colleagues have applied their computer simulation techniques to fields outside of physics, and have published sometimes in biological, economic or sociological journals, and publication flow in the opposite direction has also started.

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  • At one time, computational chemistry techniques were used only by experts extremely experienced in using tools that were for the most part di½cult to understand and apply. Today, advances in software have produced programs that are easily used by any chemist. Along with new software comes new literature on the subject. There are now books that describe the fundamental principles of computational chemistry at almost any level of detail.

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  • The fields of biological and medical physics and biomedical engineering are broad, multidisciplinary and dyanmic. They lie at the crossroads of frontier research in physics, biology, chemistry, and medicine. The Biological & Medical Physics/Biomedical Engineering Series is intended to be comprehensive, covering a broad range of topics important to the study of the physical, chemical and biological sciences. Its goal is to provide scientists and engineers with textbooks, monographs, and reference works to address the growing need for information....

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  • This book is a practical introduction to scientific computing and offers BPSIC subroutines, suitable for use on a perscnal complter, for solving a number of important problems in the areas of chmistry, biology and pharmacology. Althcugh our text is advanced in its category, we assume only that you have the normal mathmatical preparation associated with an undergraduate degree in science, and that you have some familiarity with the S I C programing language.

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  • There are many issues that should be considered in examining the implications of the imminent flood of data that will be generated both by the present and by the next generation of global ‘e-Science’ experiments. The term e-Science is used to represent the increasingly global collaborations – of people and of shared resources – that will be needed to solve the new problems of science and engineering [1]. These e-Science problems range from the simulation of whole engineering or biological systems, to research in bioinformatics, proteomics and pharmacogenetics.

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  • Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field which addresses biological problems using computational techniques, and makes the rapid organization and analysis of biological data possible. The field may also be referred to as computational biology, and can be defined as, "conceptualizing biology in terms of molecules and then applying informatics techniques to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale.

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  • An ultimate goal of modern biology is to understand how the genetic blueprint of cells (genotype) determines the structure, function, and behavior of a living organism (phenotype). At the center of this scientific endeavor is characterizing the biochemical and cellular roles of proteins, the working molecules of the machinery of life. A key to understanding of functional proteins is the knowledge of their folded structures in a cell, as the structures provide the basis for studying proteins’ functions and functional mechanisms at the molecular level....

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  • Systems biology has received an ever increasing interest during the last decade. A large amount of third-party funding is spent on this topic, which involves quantitative experimentation integrated with computational modeling. Industrial companies are also starting to use this approach more and more often, especially in pharmaceutical research and biotechnology.

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  • A computer program has been evaluated for subsite map calculations of depolymerases. The program runs inWIN-DOWSanduses the experimentallydeterminedbond cleavage frequencies (BCFs) for determination of the number of subsites, the position of the catalytic site and for calculation of subsite binding energies. The apparent free energy values were optimized by minimization of the differences of the measured and calculated BCF data.

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  • This series is directed to healthcare professionals who are leading the transformation of health care by using information and knowledge. Launched in 1988 as Computers in Health Care, the series offers a broad range of titles: some addressed to specific professions such as nursing, medicine, and health administration; others to special areas of practice such as trauma and radiology. Still other books in the series focus on interdisciplinary issues, such as the computer-based patient record, electronic health records, and networked healthcare systems....

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