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To help with the increasingly large data sets that many scientists deal with, this book illustrates how to use many freely available computing tools to work more powerfully and effectively. The book was born out of the authors' experiences developing tools for their research and to fix other biologist's computational problems.
Computing is revolutionizing the practice of biology. This book, which assumes no prior computing experience, provides students with the tools to write their own Python programs and to understand fundamental concepts in computational biology and bioinformatics. Each major part of the book begins with a compelling biological question, followed by the algorithmic ideas and programming tools necessary to explore it: the origins of pathogenicity are examined using gene finding, the evolutionary history of sex determination systems is studied using sequence alignment, and the origin of modern humans is addressed using phylogenetic methods. In addition to providing general programming skills, this book explores the design of efficient algorithms, simulation, NP-hardness, and the maximum likelihood method, among other key concepts and methods. Easy-to-read and designed to equip students with the skills to write programs for solving a range of biological problems, the book is accompanied by numerous programming exercises, available at
This greatly expanded 2nd edition provides a practical introduction to - data processing with Linux tools and the programming languages AWK and Perl - data management with the relational database system MySQL, and - data analysis and visualization with the statistical computing environment R for students and practitioners in the life sciences. Although written for beginners, experienced researchers in areas involving bioinformatics and computational biology may benefit from numerous tips and tricks that help to process, filter and format large datasets. Learning by doing is the basic concept of this book. Worked examples illustrate how to employ data processing and analysis techniques, e.g. for - finding proteins potentially causing pathogenicity in bacteria, - supporting the significance of BLAST with homology modeling, or - detecting candidate proteins that may be redox-regulated, on the basis of their structure. All the software tools and datasets used are freely available. One section is devoted to explaining setup and maintenance of Linux as an operating system independent virtual machine. The author's experiences and knowledge gained from working and teaching in both academia and industry constitute the foundation for this practical approach.
This book introduces Python as a powerful tool for the investigation of problems in computational biology, for novices and experienced programmers alike.
Biology is in the midst of a era yielding many significant discoveries and promising many more. Unique to this era is the exponential growth in the size of information-packed databases. Inspired by a pressing need to analyze that data, Introduction to Computational Biology explores a new area of expertise that emerged from this fertile field- the combination of biological and information sciences. This introduction describes the mathematical structure of biological data, especially from sequences and chromosomes. After a brief survey of molecular biology, it studies restriction maps of DNA, rough landmark maps of the underlying sequences, and clones and clone maps. It examines problems associated with reading DNA sequences and comparing sequences to finding common patterns. The author then considers that statistics of pattern counts in sequences, RNA secondary structure, and the inference of evolutionary history of related sequences. Introduction to Computational Biology exposes the reader to the fascinating structure of biological data and explains how to treat related combinatorial and statistical problems. Written to describe mathematical formulation and development, this book helps set the stage for even more, truly interdisciplinary work in biology.
This book is a practical introduction to Unix/Linux and programming for biologists as well as for chemists and physicists who work in bioinformatics and biophysics. The goal is to learn about the power of the stream editor 'sed' and the programming languages 'awk' and 'perl' in order to extract or format information from various sources. It is written for beginners with no computational knowledge. Basic programming constructs are introduced and applied. With this book, the reader will be able to work in the Unix environment (BSD, Linux, Knoppix, MacOSX, CygWin) and to write programs in order to format and analyse large data files.
Practical Bioinformatics is specifically designed for biology majors, with a heavy emphasis on the steps required to perform bioinformatics analysis to answer biological questions. It is written for courses that have a practical, hands-on element and contains many exercises (for example, database searches, protein analysis, data interpretation) to complement the straightforward and practical topics. The chapters are focused on DNA, RNA, and protein sequence analysis‹frequently performed subsets of the field of bioinformatics‹taking the reader through the commonly asked question Ðwhat can I learn about this sequence?Ó A special note to established scientists: new genomic sequences are being published at an accelerating pace. Although new technology has led to unprecedented accuracy of the sequence, incomplete and challenging assemblies along with imperfect predictive methods are still generating gene models that require verification. With the sequence analysis skills learned from this book, features such as missing exons and incorrect termini can be easily recognized and more accurate gene models can be constructed.

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