Computer Science and Engineering

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Spatial arrangement of atoms in space confined by their bond geometries can dictate the overall fold of a protein.


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Bioinformatics and computational biology involve the use of techniques from applied mathematics, informatics, statistics, and computer science to solve biological problems. Research in computational biology often overlaps with systems biology. Major research efforts in the field include sequence alignment, gene finding, genome assembly, protein structure alignment, protein structure prediction, prediction of gene expression and protein-protein interactions, and the modeling of evolution.

The terms bioinformatics and computational biology are often used interchangeably, although the former typically focuses on algorithm development and specific computational methods, while the latter focuses more on hypothesis testing and discovery in the biological domain. Although this distinction is used by National Institutes of Health in their working definitions of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, it is clear that there is a tight coupling of developments and knowledge between the more hypothesis-driven research in computational biology and technique-driven research in bioinformatics. Computational biology also includes lesser known but equally important subdisciplines such as computational biochemistry and computational biophysics.

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