The human genome presented as a series of books at the Wellcome Collection, London. The 3.4 billion units of DNA code are printed into more than a hundred volumes, each a thousand pages long, in type so small as to be barely legible. | Image: Wikipedia
Statistics, maths, biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, anatomy, neuroscience, animation… These are just some of the fields included in Computational Biology. Computational biologists spend their time developing new sophisticated tools to study different biological, behavioural and social systems.
From the Human Genome Project, which sequenced the entire human genome and opened the possibility of personalised medicine; to the newer Human Brain Project, aiming to simulate the whole human brain on supercomputers.
In this zone we have scientists working in a great variety of areas around Computational Biology. Scientists can look at the genes of different organisms to see how we all relate in evolution, work out the way to kill dangerous bacteria or fight certain diseases. Researchers are also able to run computer simulations to find out how molecules interact in our bodies to carry out the different functions that keep us alive.
But we need to be cautious when managing this big amount of very personal data; our DNA contains extremely detailed information about each of us. That is why there are also experts that look at the ethics related to genetics research and information.