A Computer Scientist's Guide to Cell Biology by William W. Cohen

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By William W. Cohen

This e-book is designed in particular as a advisor for computing device Scientists desiring an advent to mobilephone Biology. The textual content explores 3 various aspects of biology: organic platforms, experimental tools, and language and nomenclature. the writer discusses what biologists try to figure out from their experiments, how a variety of experimental techniques are used and the way they relate to authorised ideas in machine technological know-how, and the vocabulary essential to learn and comprehend present literature in biology. The ebook is a useful reference software and a very good place to begin for a extra finished exam of cellphone biology.

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For instance, one can select for antibiotic-resistant bacteria by treating a group of them with the antibiotic. A test that requires manual effort for each item is usually called a screen. To a first approximation, a screen is an O(n) operation, and a selection is an O(1) operation. As another example of “user predicates” in biology, consider a situation in which we have a mixture M of many proteins, and a particular protein X that we know binds to some of the proteins in M. How could we determine which ones?

It is fairly easy to show that for objects moving by a random walk— specifically, objects that move a fixed distance in a random direction at each time step—the time it takes to cover a distance x with high probability varies as Vx 2, where V depends on distance traveled per unit time. This is very different from the macroscopic world, where the time to cover distance x is usually linear in x. The result of this is that diffusion is a very quick way of moving around for very short distances—say, the width of a bacterium—and a very slow way of moving around over larger distances—say, from the bar to the buffet table.

Most of the interesting chemicals in a cell are proteins. To separate out the different components of a mixture of proteins, column chromatography is often used. In this technique the mixture is poured through a solid but porous column called a matrix. Proteins that stick to (interact with) the matrix will flow through William W. Cohen 47 the matrix slowly. , affinity to water). The first types of column chromatography equipment took hours to perform this separation, but newer chromatography systems use tiny beads to form the matrix, and use high pressure to force a mixture through a column in minutes.

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