Practical Computing for Biologists

Article excerpt

Practical computing for biologists

STEVEN HADDOCK AND CASEY DUNN

ISBN: 978-0-87893-39 I-4 Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA 2011 Paperback: 538 pages $59.95

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The advent of highly advanced techniques and sophisticated approaches in modern biology has been associated with the generation of massive datasets that require effective means for collection, processing and presentation. The incompetence of manual handling such large amounts of data has raised an eminent need for computing. In recognition of its becoming central role in science, computing is now claimed as the third pillar of the scientific enterprise, alongside theory and physical experimentation. Annotation of the human and other living organisms' genomes has been a wonderful example of the tremendous value of computing to biology. However, as the authors of this informative book mention there are many more aspects to biological sciences than molecular sequence analysis that can benefit from effective computing.

Within this context, the book is focused on important aspects of computing for the biologist other than sequence analysis and bioinformatics in general. Much effort has been dedicated in this book to teaching biologists the basics and tricks of programming using the modern language Python. …