Every day, scientists take advantage of computing to advance our understanding our health and biology. In addition to reading Computing Life Web Exclusives, you can follow the links below for even more examples of what they're finding.
Images Captured of Open Channel That Moves Proteins Across Cell Membranes
October 24, 2013 . Boston University School of Medicine
Computational Methods Speed Discovery of Enzyme Function
September 23, 2013 . University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
New Protein Required for Cell Movement Identified
August 12, 2013 . University of Pennsylvania
Flu Vaccines Aimed at Younger Populations Could Reduce Transmission
June 11, 2013 . Oregon State University
Mutation in Sperm Stem Cells Increases Risk of Father-to-Child Transmission of Noonan Syndrome
June 6, 2013 . University of Southern California
Joint Experimental and Computational Approach Reveals Precise Structure of HIV's Coat
May 29, 2013 . University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Newly Developed Computer Algorithm Maps Small Molecule Universe
April 22, 2013 • Duke Today
Global Map of Genetic Circuitry Helps Explain How Distinct Cell Types Form
April 21, 2013 • Institute for Systems Biology
New Computer Model of Human Metabolism May Help Tailor Treatments
March 4, 2013 • Virginia Tech
Computer Modeling Reveals How Potent Hepatitis C Drug Works
February 19, 2013 • Los Alamos National Laboratory
Gene Network Illuminates Stress, Mutation and Adaptation Responses
December 6, 2012 • Baylor College of Medicine
Weather Forecast Techniques Used to Predict Flu Outbreaks
November 26, 2012 • Columbia University
DNA Methylation Profiles Offer New Measure of "Biological" Age
November 21, 2012 • University of California, San Diego
Using Cell Phone Data to Curb the Spread of Malaria
October 11, 2012 • Harvard School of Public Health
Automated Worm Sorter Speeds Search for Genes That Affect Development
August 20, 2012 • Georgia Institute of Technology
Computer Model Successfully Predicts Drug Side Effects
June 11, 2012 • University of California, San Francisco
Computer-Designed Molecules Point to New Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis
April 12, 2012 • Duke University
New Technique Enables Researchers to Mine Drug Reports to Discover Side Effects and Interactions
March 14, 2012 Stanford School of Medicine
Structure of Gene Editing Protein
January 5, 2012 • Iowa State University
"Neon Signs" Made From Millions of Glowing Bacteria
December 18, 2011 • University of California, San Diego
Impact of Rare Genetic Variants on Cancer Drug Clearance
December 6, 2011 • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
In an Enzyme Critical for Life, X-ray Emission Cracks Mystery Atom
November 17, 2011 • Cornell University
Powerful synchrotron spectroscopy and computational modeling reveal carbon as the once-elusive atom in the middle of a complex enzyme.
Cloudy with a Chance of Sudden Death
October 20, 2011 • Rice University
Researchers are working on a powerful mathematical tool—a piece of software—that can provide clinicians with a patient-specific "forecast" to pre-empt life-threatening health events.
Researchers Quantify the Decisions That Cells Can Make With Cues From the Environment
October 12, 2011 • Johns Hopkins University
Live-cell experiments and math convert the inner workings of the cell decision-making process into a universal mathematical language.
Equation Predicts Molecular Forces in Hydrophobic Interactions
October 11, 2011 • University of California, Santa Barbara
Chemical engineers develop a new equation to solve the mystery of forces between water-repelling and water-attracting molecules, which is critical in many industrial and medical applications.
Computational Modeling Can Help Plan Introduction of Vaccines in Developing Countries
September 29, 2011 • University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Computational modeling shows that proper planning before the introduction of new vaccines into a developing country's active immunization program could prevent storage problems and transportation bottlenecks by as much as two-thirds.
Suffering of the Poor May Have Helped Unequal Societies Spread
September 23, 2011 • Stanford University
Researchers use computer simulation to compare demographic stability and rates of migration for both egalitarian and unequal societies.
Glowing, Blinking Bacteria Show How Cells Synchronize Biological Clocks
September 1, 2011 • University of California, San Diego
Computational modeling and other techniques aid an effort to mathematically describe biological clock timing.
Early Embryos Found to Be Dangerously Unstable
August 22, 2011 • Princeton University
A new computational study suggests that newly fertilized cells only narrowly avoid degenerating into fatal chaos.
Genomic Database Search Helps End 50-Year Search for Calcium Channel
June 19, 2011 • Harvard Medical School
Through a combination of digital database mining and laboratory assays, scientists discover the linchpin protein that drives mitochondria's vital calcium uptake.
More Genetic Diseases Linked to Gene-Splicing Problems
June 13, 2011 • Brown University
A computer analysis suggests that a large fraction of disease-related mutations may be linked to problems in splicing protein coding sequences.
Inequitable Access to Flu Vaccinations Could Worsen Flu Epidemic
June 9, 2011 • University of Pittsburgh
A detailed computer simulation study found that limiting or delaying the vaccination of people in poorer counties could raise the total number of flu infections.
Exploring the Genetics of Lab Mice
May 29, 2011 • Jackson Laboratory
Lab mice don't represent the genetic diversity of wild mice or humans, but a new online database of genomic data on 162 different strains of lab mice can help researchers choose which mouse DNA is right for their studies.
Scientists Computationally Design Molecular Scaffolds for Building Nanoscale Devices
May 27, 2011 • University of Pennsylvania
An interdisciplinary team of researchers has developed a method for computationally selecting molecular building blocks for constructing nanoscale scaffolds, drawing inspiration from the similar behavior of proteins in making biological structures.
Data Mining Reveals Dangerous Side Effect of Common Drug Combo
May 25, 2011 • Stanford University
Data-mining techniques to identify patterns of associations in large populations reveal that a widely used combination of two medications may cause unexpected increases in blood glucose levels.
New Method Solves Baffling Puzzles in Protein Molecular Structure
May 1, 2011 • University of Washington
Computer algorithms for protein structure modeling aid the effort to solve the structure of elusive protein molecules.
New Approach Predicts Gene Function
April 28, 2011 • University of California, San Diego
By pairing imaging and computational approaches, researchers develop a new method for predicting gene function across a range of cellular processes.
Blunting the Haiti Cholera Epidemic
April 11, 2011 • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Giving a large stockpile of oral cholera vaccine after the disease outbreak could have cut illness and death rates by about half.
Computational Model to Better Understand Genomes
March 31, 2011 • University of Virginia
A new computational model may help identify significant variations between different genomes.
Structure and Dynamics of Cancer-Triggering Chemical Signal
February 8, 2011 • University of California, San Diego
Using high-performance computers, scientists capture the chemical structure of a signal at the heart of development, wound healing and cancer.
Computational Method Uncovers Close to a Thousand Distinct Protein-Protein Interfaces
December 15, 2010 • Georgia Institute of Technology
Interactions between proteins are at the heart of cellular processes, and new computational work suggests there may be roughly a thousand structurally-distinct protein-protein interfaces.
U.S. Obesity Rate Will Reach 42% Before Hitting Plateau
November 4, 2010 • Harvard University
Using mathematical modeling, researchers estimate that America's obesity epidemic won't plateau until at least 42 percent of adults are obese.
Modeling How Molecules Interact Inside Cells
October 11, 2010 • Georgia Institute of Technology
Large-scale computer simulations reveal the most important factors affecting how molecules move through the crowded interior of living cells.
Computation Aids Search for Better Way to Identify Organ Rejection
September 23, 2010 • Stanford University School of Medicine
Using a computational method, researchers found proteins that signal when a transplant recipient starts to reject the organ. The work could lead to a simple, inexpensive and life-saving blood test.
New Systems Biology Centers to Study Cellular Response Mechanisms
September 21, 2010 • National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Two new systems biology centers will focus on how cells respond to their environment, shedding light on how cells adapt and protect themselves.
Study Finds Possible 'Persistence' Switch for Tuberculosis
September 17, 2010 • Rice University
A computer model shows that a network of genes may switch the bacteria that causes TB from a fast-growing to a slow-growing state.
Genomic Mapping Study Finds Genes Related to Heart Disease Risk Factors
August 4, 2010 • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Scanning the genomes of more than 100,000 people worldwide reveals genes underlying high cholesterol and high triglycerides.
New Strategy Boosts Speed, Accuracy in Simulation of Protein Folding
July 6, 2010 • Rice University
A new computer program quickly and accurately simulates protein folding.
Cell Signaling Classification System Gives Researchers New Tool
July 2, 2010 • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Interrogating genomic sequences using computation leads to a new method that could predict important cellular functions.
Genetics, Archaeology and Linguistics Show Picture of African Population History
May 26, 2010 • University of Pennsylvania
Analyzing data from genetic, archaeological and linguistic studies sheds light on the demographic history of the continent from which all human activity emerged.
Finding Clues to Human Diseases in Plants, Yeast and Worms
April 13, 2010 • University of Texas at Austin
Deep within the genomes of diverse organisms scientists found genes responsible for human cancer and deafness.
Open-Source Software for DNA Analysis Available as a "Cloud Computing" Resource
March 2, 2010 • Penn State University
A new Web-based framework that pulls together a variety of tools allows for easy retrieval and analysis of large amounts of data, simplifying the process of genomic analysis.
Simple Math Explains Beak Shape Variation in Darwin's Finches
February 22, 2010 • Harvard University
Applied mathematicians excavated the equations behind complex phenomena, such as how humpbacks glide through the sea and the efficient way fungal spores fly.
Computational Model Can Predict Plant Gene Functions, a Boost to Agricultural Research
February 1, 2010 • Carnegie Institution
Scientists have created a new computational model that can be used to predict gene function of uncharacterized plant genes with unprecedented speed and accuracy.
New Method Traces Drug-Resistance Mutations in HIV
January 11, 2010 • University of California, San Diego
A team of NIGMS-supported chemists and statisticians has developed a novel way to trace mutations in HIV that lead to drug resistance.
Short-Term School Closures May Worsen Flu Pandemics
December 30, 2009 • University of Pittsburgh
Closing schools for less than two weeks during a flu pandemic may increase infection rates and prolong an epidemic, according to an NIGMS-supported study.
Severity of H1N1 May Be Less Than Feared
December 7, 2009 • Harvard School of Public Health
A new NIGMS-supported study projects that the severity of the H1N1 flu during the autumn-winter flu season in the U.S. will likely be less than previously feared.
New Insights into How the Ribosome Works
November 23, 2009 • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Two new NIGMS-supported studies reveal in unprecedented detail how the ribosome interacts with other molecules to assemble new proteins and guide them toward their destination.
Statistical Technique Finds Gene Regulation Sites
November 19, 2009 • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
NIGMS-funded computer scientists have discovered a way to scan the genome for regions involved in gene regulation without prior knowledge of transcription factors.
New Four-Step Approach to Genome Annotation
November 9, 2009 • University of California, San Diego
A team of NIGMS-supported bioengineers has taken some of the guesswork out of genome annotation with a new four-step method.
Vaccinating 70 Percent Would Control Swine Flu
September 10, 2009 • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
NIGMS-funded disease modelers calculate that a vaccination program that reaches 70 percent of the U.S. population would control pandemic influenza H1N1.