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Curr Biol. 2001 Mar 6;11(5):R155-8.

Computational genomics.

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National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20894, USA.


We now know how to read the sequences of nucleotide letters that comprise the genome at a rather frightening speed--a several-million-base bacterial genome in several days is not a problem for one of the sequencing centers, and a billion-base eukaryotic genome can be done in less than a year. But reading a text and understanding it are two different things. So how well can we understand the genome sequences? The answer to this question is central to the whole enterprise of genomics, and this is where computational analysis of genomes takes the driver's seat. Here I will try to briefly outline some major goals, problems, challenges and approaches of computational genomics. Such a young field is already quite diverse, and in this short article I will concentrate on several issues that seen to be critical for deciphering biology from genome sequences, rather than mathematical and computer-science aspects that are well covered in several excellent books.

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