Science Education: Computers in Biology
Computational tools and approaches offer opportunities to study biology in new and exciting ways, helping to answer questions like:
- How do cells, human populations and other complicated biological systems behave under a variety of conditions?
- How can we organize, share or visualize vast amounts of biological data?
- What can we learn by simulating and modeling complex life processes?
Follow the links below to learn more about computers in biology, including recent discoveries, and read profiles of researchers working in this field.
Shows how scientists use computers to advance our understanding of biology and human health.
Modeling Infectious Diseases
Researchers are using computers to create virtual worlds where people get sick. Find out how this helps us understand and prevent the spread of actual infectious diseases.
Weather Forecast Techniques Used to Predict Regional Flu Outbreaks
Researchers have developed a modeling system that can forecast regional flu outbreaks on a week-to-week basis.
Using Cell Phone Data to Curb the Spread of Malaria
Mapping the location of outgoing calls and text messages from about 15 million individuals in Kenya reveals how people's movement contributes to the spread of malaria.
Computerized Sorter Helps Detect Subtle Difference in Worms
A new computerized system can rapidly sort roundworms—making normal and abnormal worms more readily available for genetic research.
A technique that predicts when cities may experience the highest number of flu cases could aid preparedness efforts.
Getting a Better Grasp on Flu Fundamentals
Studying the molecular structure of the flu virus and modeling how flu infection can spread are aiding efforts to keep people from getting sick.
Computation Aids Drug Discovery
Learn about different computational approaches that aid the design of new drugs.
Mountains and Mouse Genes
Biostatistician Gary Churchill studies mouse genetics to link gene combinations to traits.
Past to Present
Evolutionary biologist Joe Thornton uses computers and other molecular biology tools to locate ancestral receptor genes.
Doctor-scientist Atul Butte uses computers to re-classify diseases.
Cool Video: Meticulous Molecular Modeling
Researchers have developed software that combines different types of data to create 3-D models of molecules.
Dr. Russ Altman on Pharmacogenomics
Russ Altman discusses how computational approaches can help us understand interactions between genes and drugs.
Modeling How Molecules Move Inside Cells
Computational modeling helps explain why large molecules travel 15 times more slowly in the cell than in water.
Cool Image: A Year of Scientific Beauty and Insights
The images in this free 2013 calendar from an NIGMS-funded center reveal new details about the inner workings of biological processes like blood coagulation, viral infection and whole cell behavior.
Hairballs of Data
This image integrates the thousands of known molecular and genetic interactions happening inside our bodies using a computer program called Cytoscape.
Mapping Brain Differences
This image of the human brain uses colors and shapes to show neurological differences between two people.