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PLoS Computational Biology
Jamais Cascio, 29 Jun 05

The latest addition to the PLoS (Public Library of Science) stable is PLoS Computational Biology. PLoS comprises a growing array of academic journals which make all materials available for free over the net -- thereby making them open to poor regions unable to afford traditional library subscriptions. But what is computational biology, you ask? From the inaugural editorial:

Computation, driven in part by the influx of large amounts of data at all biological scales, has become a central feature of research and discovery in the life sciences. This work tends to be published either in methods journals that are not read by experimentalists or in one of the numerous journals reporting novel biology, each of which publishes only small amounts of computational research. Hence, the impact of this research is diluted. PLoS Computational Biology provides a home for important biological research driven by computation—a place where computational biologists can find the best work produced by their colleagues, and where the broader biological community can see the myriad ways computation is advancing our understanding of biological systems.

In short, computational biology is an interdisciplinary approach to using information technology as a fundamental tool for analyzing and describing living systems. Simulation, modeling, and bioengineering/biohacking all fall under this rather broad scope.

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