Computational biology is an interdisciplinary field that applies the techniques of computer science, applied mathematics and statistics to address biological problems. The main focus lies in the development of computational and statistical data analysis methods and in developing mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques. By these means it addresses scientific research topics with their theoretical and experimental questions without a laboratory. It is connected to the following fields: (1) Computational biomodeling, a field concerned with building computer models of biological systems.(2) Bioinformatics, which applies algorithms and statistical techniques to the interpretation, classification and understanding of biological datasets. These typically consist of large numbers of DNA, RNA, or protein sequences. Sequence alignment is used to assemble the datasets for analysis. Comparisons of homologous sequences, gene finding, and prediction of gene expression are the most common techniques used on assembled datasets; however, analysis of such datasets have many applications throughout all fields of biology.(3) Mathematical biology aims at the mathematical representation, treatment and modeling of biological processes, using a variety of applied mathematical techniques and tools.(4) Computational genomics, a field within genomics which studies the genomes of cells and organisms. High-throughput genome sequencing produces lots of data, which requires extensive post-processing (genome assembly) and uses DNA microarray technologies to perform statistical analyses on the genes expressed in individual cell types. This can help find genes of interest for certain diseases or conditions. This field also studies the mathematical foundations of sequencing.(5) Molecular modeling, which consists of modelling the behaviour of molecules of biological importance. (6) Protein structure prediction and structural genomics, which attempt to systematically produce accurate structural models for three-dimensional protein structures that have not been determined experimentally.(7) Computational biochemistry and biophysics, which make extensive use of structural modeling and simulation methods such as molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo method-inspired Boltzmann sampling methods in an attempt to elucidate the kinetics and thermodynamics of protein functions.
The IBM Computational Biology Center embraces activities at Yorktown Heights, with strong affiliations with activities at Almaden and other IBM Research Centers. Computational Biology (CompBio) including bioinformatics is the study of how computer systems can manage, analyze, and simulate the complex structures and processes inherent in living systems. CompBio Research at IBM spans pattern recognition in sequences, structures and processes, the studying of systems ranging from single protein molecules through to complex molecular interactions, and the data analysis, interpretation and reverse-engineering of complex disease-lifestyle-genomic interactions for fuller biological understanding. "CompBio" has a flavor of its own independant of its parents, biology and computer science. Nonetheless, CompBio is inherently a multi- disciplinary field with important applications in biology, chemical physics, materials science, agriculture, chemistry and ultimately nanotechnology.