Molecular Biology w/ Computer Programs: Questions

zerohourx at yahoo.com zerohourx at yahoo.com
Wed May 30 15:37:57 EST 2001


Molecular Biology  w/ Computer Programs: Questions

I very much enjoy computer programming but have recently gained an intense
fascination with genetics, and in general, biochemistry.  I still lack even
the most fundamental knowledge of the field but over the coming months I'll be
developing my understanding.  Newspaper articles and the Discovery channel
have consistently made mention of computer programs being used in these fields
to help boost efficiency and power.  I would very much like to be apart of
that but because I'm just beginning I have no idea on where to start.

I recently did volunteer work for a genetics research lab.  I helped create a
microarray plate editor program for storing microarray well information into a
database.  It was a wonderful experience and it gave me more insight into the
field.  I still have many questions and I hope you can answer the few I've
posted here.  I'm very much interested in protein synthesis, that is, the
creation of polypeptide chains to suit a specific need (I would love to have a
fuller understanding of how proteins do what they do and the chemical laws
that they follow to one day make a program that can spit out useful proteins,
if it already isn't done), genetic cosmetics, nanites, aging, and application
programs for general duties for biochemists/geneticists.  I'm still not clear
on what field I'm interested in but I think it would be applied molecular
biology, or is it, biotechnology.  I apologize for any terms I throw out which
don't make any sense.  Again, I'm still learning.  Please try to contort what
I say into what you think I mean.

1.  If I'm interested in such goals as protein creation (application programs
for creating specific protein shapes and actions -- scifi possibly but fun to
think about), genetic cosmetics, nanites, aging and cancer research, and
general application programs for science researchers, what field or fields
would you say that I should be looking into?  Names I've gathered so far are
biotechnology, bioinformatics, and applied molecular biology.  I very much
enjoy the research aspect but would like to "create" useful, powerful computer
programs to help with that research.

2.  What is the "hot" field of biochemistry (ie.gentetics) that requires
computer programs to be made?

3.  What computer programs do biochemists, geneticists, etc. require to make
their duties much more productive but haven't been made or has been created
but isn't very good?  I've seen such programs as Molecular Dynamics'
Microarray Design (the Plate Editor program I helped create is to replace the
clumsy and expensive Molecular Dynamics' Plate Editor, as well as the other
programs within the package) and a few others for image processing of specific
genes.

4.  Can you list a few computer programs that exist that have been quite
popular with researchers.  How have they helped?  Any demos exist?  Pricing?

5.  Can you provide me with a list of excellent boks which can enlighten me on
the molecular biology field.  One person has already mentioned Introduction To
Genetic Analysis by David Suzuki.  Again I know very little when it comes to
biology and chemistry, except for what I took in high school and some
university.


Thanks so much for any answers you can provide me.  I certainly wish I paid
more attention during chemistry class.
If it is possible can you email me directly.  My news group server goes in and
out at times.  Thanks.

J. Rain
zerohourx at yahoo.com







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