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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90
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5answers
11k views

Does DNA have the equivalent of IF-statements, WHILE loops, or function calls? How about GOTO?

Does DNA have anything like IF-statements, GOTO-jumps, or WHILE loops? In software development, these constructs have the following functions: IF-statements: An IF statement executes the code in a ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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)? ...
4
votes
3answers
259 views

What is the state-of-the-art algorithm for multiple sequence alignment?

Which algorithm or algorithms are considered the standard or state-of-the-art for multiple sequence alignment? How big is the need for better algorithms? How many sequences need to be alignment in a ...
21
votes
2answers
24k views

What is the difference between local and global sequence alignments?

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 not only between softwares, but varies from software version to version. ...
8
votes
2answers
287 views

Can forensic DNA analysis be used to generate a visual approximation of a suspect?

In light of the current US supreme court case, I'm curious if enough information can be teased out of a DNA sample to get a "reasonable" approximation of the suspect (never mind the legality). I ...
9
votes
2answers
176 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
831 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

Local BLAST Copy Number per Hit

I generated a series of local BLAST databases using makeblastdb of metagenomic data and am searching for the presence of a particular gene. While I can do the normal BLAST analysis looking at e-values,...
9
votes
6answers
504 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process? [closed]

As a scientist (and a computer scientist at that) my view is that if we cannot simulate a process we have not understood it properly. I have been following the interesting field of Artificial Life for ...
8
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
803 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
507 views

Has any large-scale origin-of-life simulation/experiment been done?

I have been thinking a little about the origins of life, and was further inspired by this question: How did the first self replicating organism come into existence? I can accept that we don't quite ...
8
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

Sequence evolution simulation tool

I'm looking for a tool to simulate sequence evolution given a specific mutation model and birth-death model. I'm aware of tools and packages like INDELible, Seq-Gen and PhyloSim, but they simulate ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Why is ab initio protein secondary structure prediction less reliable than alternatives?

To predict secondary structure of proteins three types of Algorithms are used Ab initio, homology based and neural networks. Among these neural networks prove to be more accurate and give good results ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Visualising a subset of the tree of life

I understand that many curated trees of life already exist (eg http://tolweb.org/tree/) but is there any website that allows one to input a list of organisms, and then produce the current best guess ...
5
votes
3answers
228 views

How easy is it to carry out de novo sequence assembly?

Today a colleague of mine asked the following question: " Assuming I need to build from 0, a chromosome of a fish, with short reads but no other reference whatsoever [de novo assembly]: ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

How do I make a multiple sequence alignment (MSA)?

I have a DNA sequence that makes protein 1, but now I have asked to: compare the amino acid sequence of protein 1 with nine homologous proteins and make a multialignment of the sequences. Determine ...
2
votes
1answer
374 views

Plastid and mitochondria

I am not a biologist, so please bear with me for this basic question. Although I tried googling, I am confused. What is the difference between plastids, chloroplasts and mitochondria? Are there any ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

How to selectively download 3 fields from every record in UniProtKB?

I want to download a comprehensive table of protein names from uniprot.org. More precisely, I want to generate a tab-delimited table consisting of the id (...
11
votes
1answer
957 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
624 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
5answers
508 views

Book/source for learning bioinformatics, focused on genomics?

Does anyone know of sources for learning bioinformatics, focused on genomics? I would like to learn alot of skills I could apply potently in the workforce if I ever became adept at the fields. My ...
6
votes
2answers
476 views

introduction to Chip Seq

I hope this question is suitable for this site. I am concerned about the Chip experiment part so I think it should be okay. I am a Applied Math student starting to get into bioinformatics and so I've ...
5
votes
3answers
148 views

Finding a template/oligo combination for my first PCR experiment

I'm an information technology engineer. I love biology so I research biological topics and have an interest in PCR. That's why I have decided to create a PCR machine. Everything is done now and I ...
4
votes
1answer
388 views

Software for counting fly eggs

Is there any software that could be used to rapidly (quicker than humans) count the eggs laid by Drosophila on a substrate by placing them under a microscope with a camera attached? The eggs are laid ...
3
votes
3answers
47 views

Needleman Algorithm for Optimal Alignment of two Amino Acid Sequences

I want to compute the optimal alignment of two amino acid sequences as per the following definition from a patent: "The percentage of identity between two peptidic or nucleotidic sequences is a ...
3
votes
2answers
510 views

How to use Autodock just for (re)scoring

I have some protein-ligand complexed that I have been docking with some other software and just want to use Autodock to evaluate those complexes. So, basically I just want to use it as a scoring ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

Computing Percent Identity between DNA / Amino Acid Sequence

What are some tools where I can input a pair of DNA sequences (or alternatively a pair of Amino Acid Sequences) and compute a percent similarity identity metric between them? Is BLAST the right ...
3
votes
0answers
139 views

Good poly-A filtering rules or tools

I am aligning a large number of ESTs. It seems poly-A tails show in many different ways. In addition to occurring at the very end, they can be flanked by the cloning sequence one one end, or have ...
3
votes
1answer
875 views

Why is Cysteine and Tyrosine used to calculate a sequence isoelectric point?

Why are the amino acids - cysteine and tyrosine used in isoelectric point calculations for a protein sequence, yet neither of them are positively charged molecules? and are not used in net charge ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Confusion related to a term probe-by-background interaction

I was reading a paper related to bioinformatics where it uses the drug response on the cancer cells and the gene expression of the individual cells are studied to find any useful insights. Specially, ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

How is protein cavity centre related to binding?

I am confused and I have the following questions: 1. What are (in the context of article below) protein cavity centres? 2. How are they related to binding? (Automated identification of protein-ligand ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Introductory book in genetics? [duplicate]

I am working in the field of neuroscience with a background in computer science. I try to find new ways of analyzing brain imaging data (mostly MRI, EEG, MEG, fMRI) with modern machine learning ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

STRING ID - allelic differences and splice variants

STRING has protein (amino acid sequences) mapped to a single gene ID. I have these doubts with respect to STRING ID. I find that 1.All alleles of a single gene share the same STRING ID and 2....
1
vote
2answers
244 views

How do you find pre-miRNAs from mature miRNA Blast output?

So in short, I did a blastn with standalone blast using all known miRNAs against the EST sequences in a genome (word length 7 and e-value 0.01). Now to confirm one of the next steps would be obtain ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

How to Determine the Most Conserved Sequence from BLAST Result?

I used BLAST to find the best aligned DNA sequence to my query sequence. The BLAST result shows a number of sequences that it calculated to be the best aligned sequences to the query sequence that I ...