"Visualization Challenges at the Intersection of Petascale Computing and Biological Science"
IEEE Visualization 2007, Sacramento, CA, .
Since the beginning of the computer era scientists have dreamed about using the power of computation to develop a predictive understanding (a computational “theory”) that could help explain the structure, function, and evolution of biological systems. Early attempts to develop computer models and the associated theory of biological systems were limited by our lack of a detailed molecular-level understanding of the mechanisms involved in even the most basic functions of growth, development, and genetic inheritance. Later, as modern molecular and structural biology cracked the genetic code and biochemists filled in the chemical details of metabolism, available computer power became the bottleneck in extending our understanding towards prediction. Today new classes of computers provide the necessary power and the recent dramatic advances in the availability of biological data yields information ranging from the DNA sequences of over 500 organisms to detailed snapshots of cellular machinery in action.