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Julio Collado-Vides

Julio Collado-Vides is Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Computational Biology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca. He is coeditor of Integrative Approaches to Molecular Biology (MIT Press, 1996).

Titles by This Editor

Post-Genomic Computational Approaches

As exciting as the new field of genomics is, it has not yet produced a basic conceptual change in biology. The fundamental problems remain: the origin of life, cell organization, the pathways of differentiation, aging, and the molecular and cellular capabilities of the brain. What has occurred is an explosion of molecular information obtained by genomic sequences, which will soon be followed by exhaustive catalogs of protein interactions and protein function. This wealth of information can be analyzed and manipulated only with the help of computers. The rapidly expanding role of computers in biology may usher in a profound conceptual change in how we study living systems in the laboratory.

This book focuses on current computational approaches to understanding the complex networks of metabolic and gene regulatory capabilities of the cell. The contributors look well beyond the state of the art in computational biology to anticipate what biological research will be like in a post-genomic world.

What are the main challenges of computational molecular biology once the genome projects are completed? Integrative Approaches to Molecular Biology focuses on molecular biology beyond sequences: from gene regulation to differentiation, a higher-level integration that will be a major theme in biology following conclusion of the genome program. It charts the course of the emerging discipline of integrative molecular biology from macromolecular sequences to a biological (and theoretical) perspective, showing that novel integrative methodologies and paradigms are emerging at the confluence of such disciplines as computer science, logic, linguistics, and mathematics.

Following an introductory chapter by Richard Lewontin that offers a critique of the evolutionary process as one of engineering design, the first part of the book, on computational biology, addresses issues concerning protein and DNA sequences within genome projects and a federated infrastructure for databases. The second part brings together experimental, evolutionary, computational, and theoretical approaches dealing with regulation of gene expression, metabolic pathways, and cell differentiation. The book concludes with a chapter on problems and perspectives on artificial intelligence.