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Computational Biology and Applied Bioinformatics
Nowadays it is difficult to imagine an area of knowledge that can continue developing without the use of computers and informatics. It is not different with biology, that has seen an unpredictable growth in recent decades, with the rise of a new discipline, bioinformatics, bringing together molecular biology, biotechnology and information technology. More recently, the development of high throughput techniques, such as microarray, mass spectrometry and DNA sequencing, has increased the need of computational support to collect, store, retrieve, analyze, and correlate huge data sets of complex information. On the other hand, the growth of the computational power for processing and storage has also increased the necessity for deeper knowledge in the field. The development of bioinformatics has allowed now the emergence of systems biology, the study of the interactions between the components of a biological system, and how these interactions give rise to the function and behavior of a living being. This book presents some theoretical issues, reviews, and a variety of bioinformatics applications. For better understanding, the chapters were grouped in two parts. In Part I, the chapters are more oriented towards literature review and theoretical issues. Part II consists of application-oriented chapters that report case studies in which a specific biological problem is treated with bioinformatics tools.