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What is the name of the science that studies the mathematics of DNA?

Where can I learn about maths, statistics, types of code, numbers, patterns and graphs for genes and information found in DNA?

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closed as too broad by canadianer, WYSIWYG, David, Bryan Krause May 15 at 20:28

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    $\begingroup$ There isn't one, because I've never seen it regarded as a science per se, but you are free to invent one. In the meantime you could look up articles in what has been termed "Theoretical Biology", although this encompasses other areas. "Bioinformatics" analyses DNA (and other things) in the way you may be thinking, and appropriate books in that field may give you a start. Try browsing in your university library or bookshop (if you have access to these). $\endgroup$ – David May 9 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about DNA in biology or DNA as a data store for non-biological data? "DNA decryption" mostly returns results for what I would see as a presently silly use of DNA in cryptography. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause May 9 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, to know about all the codes and maths that have been found in Biological DNA, gene lengths, variations, duplicates, randomness of loci, types of markers, to see many graphs that represent what DNA is in numbers, lots of statistics and functional maths... I also only found silly pages about data security keys using DNA. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible May 10 at 7:59
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    $\begingroup$ You are probably looking for mathematical biology as a whole. Your question is very broad because it is unclear to me if you are talking about genetics in general or if you just want summary statistics for genes in particular organisms. From a mathematical perspective, there is also DNA topology (structural features of the DNA), the field of quantitative genetics (linking phenotypes and genotypes) and the entire field of population genetics (inheritance within populations). $\endgroup$ – cagliari2005 May 10 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ Also "DNA decryption" isn't descriptive enough. There is an emerging field called DNA computing (or nucleic acid computing when including RNA as well) that uses DNA or RNA to perform computation tasks, as well as ongoing efforts to use DNA as a storage medium for information (DNA digital data storage). $\endgroup$ – cagliari2005 May 10 at 11:15
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I can think of several possible terms for what you could mean (with my interpretation of what people in those fields do):

  1. Computational biology (the study of biological topics using computation)
  2. Bioinformatics (the study of biological topics using computation)
  3. Mathematical biology (the study of biological topics using mathematics)
  4. Sequence analysis (the study of patterns in nucleotide [DNA] and protein sequences)
  5. Genomics (the study of genomes or more generally large quantities of nucleotide sequence)

These all bleed into each other and doubtless other people have different interpretations.

There has been a ton of work in these areas, so they probably cover what you mean, but without some more concrete examples it's a little hard to say which is most appropriate.

As an aside, "DNA decryption" will be interpreted by most people in light of attempts to encode non-biological data in DNA and then decode it (see e.g. george church's stunts). However, based on what you say I think this is not really what you are interested in.

If you are looking for the technical literature for such fields, you could see the following journals, which are some of the better-known peer-reviewed journals focusing on these areas:

  1. Bioinformatics
  2. PLOS Computational Biology
  3. Genome Research
  4. BMC Bioinformatics
  5. Molecular Biology and Evolution
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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! awesome answer. When I check what kinds of hackers and computer scientists have used numeric science knowledge to research, decode and classify DNA, only find dna being used for non-biological codes. I want to know, if you gave the DNA code to an elite hacker, who can get into the pentagon... What would he find? $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible May 12 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @com.prehensible Just to be clear, this "DNA code" being given to a hacker is a naturally occurring DNA sequence, e.g. human genome or E. coli genome or whatever? Or a random DNA sequence, or something else? Naturally occurring sequences are usually assessed on the basis of deviations from random or comparisons between biological genomes, which have somewhat different "rules", so I'm just trying to understand what your baseline is here. $\endgroup$ – Maximilian Press May 12 at 19:26

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