Bioinformatics connects life sciences and quantitative sciences, typically involving the application of software and algorithms to solve computationally intensive questions, such as those in genomics, sequence analysis, and systems biology. Questions tagged Bioinformatics should have a direct ...

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What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?

I've thoroughly read the Wikipedia article on DNA sequencing and can't get one thing. There's some hardcore chemistry involved in the process that somehow splits the DNA and then isolates its parts. ...
19
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3answers
2k views

Is “computational biology” different from “bioinformatics”?

Are "computational biology" and "bioinformatics" simply different terms for the same thing or is there a real difference?
17
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3answers
200 views

What is the optimal frame size for protein secondary structure prediction methods?

The whole question is What is the optimal frame size for the second and third generation protein secondary structure prediction methods? Justify your answer. I remember it has something to do ...
13
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3answers
791 views

Why do restriction enzymes tend to have an even number of bases in their recognition site?

When reading my textbook I noticed that in all examples but one from eight the recognition site was an even number of bases. I wondered if this was just a co-incidence, so I took the data from this ...
13
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2answers
326 views

When does BLAST fail to align 2 DNA sequences?

This is an assignment that had confused me for a long time. So I think you guys who study computational biology might be interested. The original question is: Find the two most similar DNA ...
13
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4answers
287 views

Machine learning for light microscopy — problems to solve?

I would like solve some biological problems that would improve the state-of-the-art of biology or bioinformatics. In particular, I want to apply machine learning on light microscopic images. The ...
13
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1answer
362 views

Looking for a cancer drug target database to guide sequencing of patient tumor DNA

I have a question I would like to pose to the community. I have recently received access to a bench-top ion torrent DNA sequencer. Our idea is to use this machine to sequence the DNA from patient’s ...
12
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4answers
539 views

Why did high A+T content create problems for the Plasmodium falciparum genome project?

The main paper for the Plasmodium palciparum genome project (Gardner et al., 2002) repeatedly mentioned that the unusually high A+T content (~80%) of the genome caused problems. For example they imply ...
12
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1answer
7k views

What is the significance and method behind Ramachandran plots?

My PI showed a Ramachandran plot in class today with minimal explanation, but I'm interested in finding out more. I understand that the Ramachandran plot shows the relation between the omega phi and ...
12
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3answers
654 views

Human disease and associated phenotype database?

Does anyone know of any good databases that contain symptoms for diseases and other ailments in humans? I've tried working with UMLS, but thats been impossible to work with. I've also tried working ...
11
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4answers
274 views

What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?

Well, the question is in the title, no explanation need.
11
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2answers
954 views

Databases for gene regulatory network graphs?

What databases are available for gene regulatory network graphs starting from a given gene? For example, starting from p53 gene, where can I find a gene regulatory network image that can be exported ...
11
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1answer
585 views

How do I get the current “camera position” in PyMol so I can reuse it in scripts?

I have a few protein models I want to take pictures of with various ligands bound. It would be nice if I could do it from the same "position", but the only way I can figure out to repeat the same ...
10
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3answers
235 views

Shortest strings not present in the human genome

What length are the shortest strings of DNA not present in any known person's genome, and what are they? And is there a database online by which I could find this out?
9
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5answers
672 views

Finding and Comparing Homologous Genes

I have a gene of of interest that I would like to compare between homologues. How does one go about finding a gene from known coding sequences across phyla? Afterwards I imagine I could do a Clustal ...
9
votes
3answers
391 views

Source of DNA sequences

I'm working on a project where I am taking DNA sequences and translating the codons into musical notes. I have some good ideas of how to do this, I'm just not sure what sequences to work with. My case ...
9
votes
3answers
111 views

Standard letter for 5-methylcytosine

I'm working on a piece of software that computes melting temperatures for nucleic acid duplexes, and I'm about to add support for 5-methylcytosine as a nucleotide base. At the moment, the bases ...
9
votes
1answer
499 views

How many gigabytes of DNA are there on earth?

The human genome is about 770 MB, the C. elegans genome is about 100 MB, the yeast S. cerevisiae is about 12 MB. Different other genomes have been sequenced: how many GB of genomic DNA we have now? ...
9
votes
2answers
341 views

How can I pare down a PDB file in Python to only include specific residues?

I'm trying to make a script that will take a MTZ file (reflections), convert it into a CCP4 map, then pare that map down to only encompass a desired area to cut down on the size of my PyMol session ...
9
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1answer
165 views

Systems identification in small neural network

When analyzing data from cortex, we often try to understand what each neuron does in terms of its inputs from other neurons - a specific kind of a systems identification strategy. Most current ...
9
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1answer
139 views

Comment on the introduction to a bioinformatics paper

I've written a paper about DNA sequence analysis. This paper attempts to use Bayesian modelling for a set of DNA sequences. It will probably end up either in a statistics journal, or, more likely, in ...
9
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2answers
136 views

What role does a protein's size have on protein-protein interactions?

Protein-protein interactions are when two or more proteins bind together, possibly for some important biological function. Recently, I'm starting to look more into proteins, and in particular, ...
9
votes
1answer
119 views

E. coli values for [enzymes], [metabolites] and kinetic rates

In my attempt to create a metabolic model of E. coli, I have found a comprehensive list of metabolic reactions and their stoichiometry. The one I am currently using is E. coli model iJO1366 (more ...
9
votes
1answer
144 views

Protein data bank syntax: Can two protein secondary structures “overlap”?

I have a technical question regarding the syntax in Protein Data Bank files. In the protein with PDB# 1AE9 (pdb file), there are two lines in the .pdb file: ...
9
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0answers
106 views

Using the IMGT/GENE-DB service to find RSS

I'm trying to get the data for the Human and Mouse 12 and 23 Recomination Signal Sequences (RSS), to run a classification algorithm on it. I'm not a biologist, so I apologise in advance for my ...
8
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1answer
174 views

Is there a program that simulates biology on a molecular level?

Is there a computer program that simulates biology on a molecular level? Software that has rules that simulates the rules of molecular-biology?
8
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2answers
800 views

Scoring sequence against position weight matrix

I have a weight matrix of length 20 x 15 (amino acids x sequence positions). Each element of my weight matrix is a relative probability If I have a sequence say "AAPGTGASMHSGLLW" how would I score it ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Use of amino-acid sequences versus use of nucleotide sequences in phylogenetic analysis

Reading a paper about gene evolution, I see that they do phylogenetic analysis for bacteria using protein sequences. They take the method from another paper. I can suspect that amino-acid sequences ...
8
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1answer
66 views

How to validate the regulatory interactions inferred from gene expression data?

My algorithm learns regulatory interaction between genes using Bayesian Network approach from gene expression data. After the algorithm has converged to a network of interacting genes, how to validate ...
8
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2answers
659 views

BLAST DNA Sequences Reversed

I have been trying to learn some basic DNA sequencing techniques and have been using BLAST as a reference. I thought that I was starting to get it, but then I cam across this: It looks like it's ...
8
votes
1answer
305 views

Does DNA contain information beyond protein synthesis?

It's well known that genetic information is stored in DNA. As far as I know, DNA only has information at the protein level. What about higher levels, such as organelles, cells, tissue, organs? Is ...
8
votes
1answer
814 views

Digital Genomic Footprinting for ENCODE

I'm reading over the ENCODE Nature papers, and one of the papers referred to is "Global mapping of protein-DNA interactions in vivo by digital" by Hesselberth et al[1]. Genomic footprinting is a ...
8
votes
2answers
105 views

How to find miRNA binding sites on a specific gene?

I am trying to find miRNAs that bind to the 3'UTR of a specific gene. What is the best way of doing that (that is, with a good scoring analysis that is most commonly used by researchers in this area)? ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How can rooted and unrooted (phylogenetic) trees be distinguished from one another

I understand that both are similar in structure But how can they be easily identified as one or the other? Is it simply based on the presence or lack of a named root (the root is identified as a ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Difference between strand-specific and not strand-specific RNA-seq data

I would like to ask the difference between strand-specific and not strand-specific dataset. As far as I know, strand-specific data means that we know which strand the transcript is from. I do not ...
8
votes
1answer
268 views

Is it possible to add a new sequence to a blast database without recreating it from scratch?

I have a new sequence and I want to add it to a pre-constructed BLAST database containing other sequences. The makeblastdb help does not give any hint on this regard.
8
votes
1answer
60 views

Downloadable worldwide database of disease statistics?

I am looking for a downloadable database of disease statistics. I have emailed the good folks over at HealthMap, but they haven't gotten back to me yet. As far as I can tell, their data relevant to ...
8
votes
1answer
63 views

Mass spectrometry versus western blotting for validation

I have mass spectrometry data (LC-MS/MS) from rat cortices under either drug or control treatments. The results were performed in triplicate (three pairs of rats, drug or control per pair). In ...
8
votes
1answer
137 views

Is there a comprehensive database of fossils (with images) online?

Not sure if this is the best stackexchange to ask... I have not been able to find a decent database of fossils on the web, does one exist? Here are some of the links I have found through Wikipedia ...
7
votes
5answers
348 views

Introductory literature for synthetic / systems biology?

I'm a computer engineer (MsC Computer Engineering) who's looking to switch into the field of synthetic / systems biology. I've got a comprehensive layman's understanding of evolution, genetics, ...
7
votes
2answers
320 views

How to compute properties of peptides ?

I have been tasked with writing a program for computing properties of a give set of peptides. These peptides are given as 1-letter amino acid sequences and I need to compute the following : Length ...
7
votes
3answers
134 views

What is the potential function of ultra-conserved elements in the genome?

If selection pressure results in conservation of DNA sequences, what is the most plausible explanation for the existence of ultra-conserved elements (refs here and here) given that there hasn't been ...
7
votes
5answers
344 views

Are there examples of encryption in nature?

There are examples of mathematics in nature such as Fibonacci number, fractals, etc. Are there examples of encrypted information? What I am looking for is a pattern that seems random on the ...
7
votes
2answers
122 views

RNA-Seq library construction challenges: the biases of RNA fragmentation vs cDNA fragmentation

I recently watched a presentation on RNA-seq that covered some of the choices one can make along the way, and I didn't fully understand one of the choices in particular. Near the beginning of the ...
7
votes
4answers
436 views

Suitable introductory book on Bioinformatics for a computer scientist?

Do you have any suggestions on a suitable introductory text on bioinformatics for a computer scientist? Any recommendations with pros and cons of different books would be appreciated. I'm mainly ...
7
votes
1answer
131 views

PDB Mining: Why Do I Find Atoms Less than 1 Angstrom Apart?

I am attempting to find potential Hydrogen bonds between Hydrogen donors and aromatic ring acceptors. I do this by predicting the location of Hydrogens on residues and then calculating how far these ...
7
votes
1answer
246 views

List of np-hard problems in biology/bioinformatics

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but... I am looking for a list of computationally "hard" problems such that if a problem from this list could be solved effectively, it would be ...
6
votes
3answers
703 views

How exactly are game theoretical evolutionary models described during implementation for computer simulations?

When a biologist or a layman tries to reason the evolutionary explanation for something, they would simply use English with some math thrown in (for a random example, pick any explanation out of "The ...
6
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3answers
371 views

What's the use of DNA sequencing results?

Suppose I sequence DNA of some organism (a human perhaphs) and now I have the entire DNA "string" - the sequence of nucleotides. What's the use of that? It's just a "string" where nucleotides encode ...
6
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2answers
5k views

What is the difference between local and global sequence alignments?

Obviously there are a bunch of different alignment tools out there, and I don't want to get bogged down in the maths behind them as this differs from software version to version. I am aware that ...