Seeing the big picture with computational biology

According to the paper, Carl von Linné, the Swedish botanist and father of taxonomy, would be a computational biologist today. Image credit: Nationalmuseum Stockholm.

According to the paper, Carl von Linné, the Swedish botanist and father of taxonomy, would be a computational biologist today.

Image credit: Nationalmuseum Stockholm.

A recent excellent article in PLOS Biology by Florian Markowetz with the provocative title All Biology is Computational Biology makes an passionate case that computational biologists contribute crucial conceptual tools and approaches to biology, allowing biologists to see the big picture and turning fuzzy ideas into concrete hypotheses far beyond a mere "service provider". Hear, hear!

"Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science."

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Alex Lancaster