Students, Researchers Push Boundaries of Computational Biochemistry

Graduate student at a white board teaching coding

The complexity of life makes it difficult to study. In biochemistry, there are often just too many processes and reactions taking place in a cell for humans to wrap their heads around. What helps biochemists make sense of it all?

Cue computational biology and biochemistry. Computation has been used in biology and biochemistry since the dawn of computers and is used today by many researchers in the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Biochemistry.

“The main reason people use computers in biochemistry is because biological systems are composed of thousands of interacting components and predicting the behaviors of these complex systems becomes way too difficult to grasp within your brain,” says assistant professor Philip Romero, who uses computation in his lab in the Department of Biochemistry. “Computers are much better at handling large amounts of information.”

Computational biochemistry can be defined as the use of computational methods and simulations to predict and understand various biological processes. Scientists are able to use computers to make sense of large amounts of data and use that data to make predictions.

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