I am writing a paper about DNA sequence prediction. DNA sequence prediction is done across various areas of biology, including, for example, RSS sequence prediction (in immunology) and prediction of promoter regions in vertebrate DNA sequences.

I was just wondering how one would describe such specific areas as "RSS sequence prediction" and "promoter region prediction". To be concrete, I wanted to write something like:

This paper describes a method of DNA sequence prediction using standard Bayesian modelling techniques. While there is much existing work on DNA sequence prediction, most of this work is in the context of biological research. Typically the techniques used are very specific to the biological subdomain under consideration. Also, these techniques often use use additional biological information about the biological sequences under consideration, besides the sequence data itself.

Is the term subspeciality the correct term to use here? Would biological area or biological domain/subdomain be better, or some other term?

Incidentally, if anyone knows other areas where DNA sequence prediction is used, please mention it/them. Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ I would avoid using the term sequence prediction. You don't predict sequences, you identify them. Predicting would be giving me a likely RSS sequence for an organism you haven't analyzed and I doubt that is what you're doing. You may be predicting RSSs or genes or promoters but not sequences. $\endgroup$ – terdon Oct 29 '13 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @terdon I see your point, but am unclear on how to reword my paragraph. Can you suggest an alternative phrasing for "DNA sequence prediction"? I can't make it more specific, because it is supposed to be a catch-all phrase for prediction of different kinds of DNA sequences, in different subdomains, i.e. RSS. $\endgroup$ – Faheem Mitha Oct 29 '13 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ In this case, I would say sequence identification or RSS sequence prediction or promoter prediction. It is just the sequence prediction I object to. $\endgroup$ – terdon Oct 30 '13 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ @terdon I think I'll go with "DNA sequence analysis" or possibly "Computational Analysis of DNA Sequences". These are used in various places. Is that OK with you? $\endgroup$ – Faheem Mitha Oct 30 '13 at 6:58
  • $\begingroup$ Both sound fine to me, yeah. $\endgroup$ – terdon Oct 30 '13 at 12:09

I think your suggestions are fine - there are a few ways you could write this.

I might use some variant of;

The techniques used may be specific to the research question, and particular considerations may also be required depending on the accepted norms within the academic field

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the feedback, Luke. I expanded my (proposed) paper quote a bit, to give better context. $\endgroup$ – Faheem Mitha Oct 29 '13 at 10:15

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