Wilczynski B, Hvidsten TR
A computer scientist's guide to the regulatory genome
Fundamenta Informaticae: 2010 103:323-332


Recent years have seen a wealth of computational methods applied to problems stemming from molecular biology. In particular, with the completion of many new full genome sequences, great advances have been made in studying the role of non-protein-coding parts of the genome, reshaping our understanding of the role of DNA sequences. Recent breakthroughs in experimental technologies allowing us to inspect the innards of cells on a genomic scale has provided us with unprecedented amounts of data, posing new computational challenges for scientists working to uncover the secrets of life. Due to the binary-like nature of the DNA code and switch-like behavior of many regulatory mechanisms, many of the questions that are currently in focus in biology are surprisingly related to problems that have been of long-term interest to computer scientists. In this review, we present a glimpse into the current state of research in computational methods applied to modeling the regulatory genome. Our aim is to cover current approaches to selected problems from molecular biology that we consider most interesting from the perspective of computer scientists as well as highlight new challenges that will most likely draw the attention of computational biologists in the coming years.

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