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Communications of the ACM


How Computers Are Changing Biology

Symmetric Dimer of Dimers puzzle

A Symmetric Dimer of Dimers puzzle, in which the goal is to find the best way of folding the protein (in color) so it binds best with its three grey copies.

Credit: Foldit Wiki

It is no secret that computer modeling is changing science. The ability to extract meaningful information from huge data sets and build sophisticated models is altering everything from astronomy to quantum physics. Yet, perhaps no discipline is witnessing more tangible benefits from computer modeling than biology.

"There is an incredible amount of valuable information embedded in biological systems," observes Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor of structural biology. "Precise molecules and powerful computers are in many ways made for each other."


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