Era of machine learning
Nowadays, we teach machines (computers) to learn skills and ask them to achieve some tasks. On internet, computers classify news. On our mail servers, computers filter junk emails. Computers even play games, compose music, and monitor terrorism.
In our lab, we teach computers to learn biology. Even better, computers learn biology by itself and tell us the mystery behind biology. We call the knowledge organized by computers prediction models, and the information delivered by computers predictions. As the prediction accuracy increases, computational tools provide us with more and more facts about living organisms.
Our lab mainly focus on the research of computational molecular biology. In most of the time, we manipulate macro-molecules such as proteins and DNA. When given a protein sequence, it is of interest to know what the function it has. In the next step, it will be great to know which residues play the most important roles in its function. Moreover, we are eager to find out its interacting partners in organisms. All the above questions can be answered by a computer, a well-trained computer program.
In recent years, computational packages began to play important roles in the studies of biology. This can be easily convinced by the increasing number of papers regarding computational approaches published in some famous biological journals, including Cell, Genome Research, Nucleic Acids Research, etc.