Introductory Bioinformatics Books for Computer Scientists

Antony Quinn antonyquinn at
Thu Jun 26 12:10:43 EST 2003


I have a similar background to you - strong computer science, and until last
year, little biology knowledge (I'm currently studying biology at
intermediate level).

I'm reading "Genomic Perl" by Rex A. Dwyer - it's just what you're looking
for. It's not an easy read, mainly because it jumps straight into molecular
biology, mathematics and Perl with none of the over-inflated guff we usually
find in computer science text books. If you don't already know Perl it would
be a good idea to learn before reading the book: as you'd expect from a Perl
programmer, the author codes in an esoteric style, which can be hard going
if you're used to Java or C.

Another book I have lined up to read is "Introduction to Bioinformatics" by
Arthur M. Lesk. I've only skim read this one, and it looks good:

I've also read "Introduction to Bioinformatics" by Teresa K. Attwood and
David J. Parry-Smith. This is aimed at biologists so it's not what you're
looking for. It does, however, offer a useful overview of the field and
covers many of the publically-available tools such as BLAST.

For more general advice:

Free course in bioinformatics - I've recently downloaded this (over 500MB!)
and have taken a quick look. It seems very comprehensive. I plan to start
using it later this summer:

Good luck,


"David Murphy" <DavidMurphy at> wrote in message
news:df0b1de1.0306171513.68b4722b at
> Hi - I am considering taking my broad experience in computer science
> and retraining to some degree the areas of bioinformatics/
> computational biology. I have very little biology knowledge at all..
> I am interested in finding a book that I can read to get an
> introduction to this field. Most books I have seen so far appear to be
> for biologists needing to gain computer science skills. EG how to
> setup Linux, program in Pearl etc which I *DONT* need.
> I would appreciate any recommendations for books that will introduce
> someone with a strong and broad computer science background to the
> bioinformatics area of study. I need knowledge on the prerequisite
> biology concepts and the types of problems in that
> bioinformatics/computational biology is addressing via computer
> science etc.
> Thanks for your recommendations..

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