Bioinformatics–the application of computational and analytical methods to biological problems–is a rapidly evolving scientific discipline. Genome sequencing projects are producing vast amounts of biological data for many different organisms, and, increasingly, storing these data in public databases. Such biological databases are growing exponentially, along with the biological literature. It’s impossible for even the most zealous researcher to stay on top of necessary information in the field without the aid of computer-based tools. Bioinformatics is all about building these tools. Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills is for scientists and students who are learning computational approaches to biology for the first time, as well as for experienced biology researchers who are just starting to use computers to handle their data. The book covers the Unix file system, building tools and databases for bioinformatics, computational approaches to biological problems, an introduction to Perl for bioinformatics, data mining, and data visualization. Written in a clear, engaging style, Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills will help biologists develop a structured approach to biological data as well as the tools they’ll need to analyze the data.
Introduces software tools for biological applications, introducing and explaining popular tools used in information research. Covers the necessary background theory for understanding bioinformatics and its software, including how the tools are best used and why they are important. Discusses Unix for the working biologist, building databases, and other topics. Softcover.
New to the field? This is your book!, May 8, 2001
As a research scientist at a major pharmaceutical company, I became involved with microbial genomics four years ago. I have become familar with bioinformatics by talking and working with colleagues in my company, but on more than one occasion in the past, I found myself baffled by some detail or aspect of this new and rapidly evolving field. This book, Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills is an outstanding introduction for the biologist attempting to become broadly familar with the basics of the bioinformatics field. The authors begin with a highly informative introduction to the Unix operating system, and then proceed to describe many of the basic tools for sequence analysis, database searching, multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic analysis. This section has an outstanding non-mathematical explanation of scoring matrices and dynamic programming for alignments. This is followed by chapters on protein structure and predicting protein structure and function from sequence. They also discuss tools for sequence assembly, annotating genomes, proteomics and biochemical pathway databases. There is an excellent chapter on analysis of large data sets using Perl scripts. The book closes with chapters on building relational databases and data visualization. The material is well written and clearly presented, and can serve as an excellent springboard to more advanced texts in the field. I highly recommend it to those who are beginning to use bioinformatics, as well as to those more experienced who would like a ready reference with the basics all under one cover. Well worth the modest price!!