August 14, 2009

Python for Biologists

Filed under: Bioinformatics,Computational Biology — Biointelligence: Education,Training & Consultancy Services @ 3:27 pm
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While reading through a PLOS journal, found an article on the importance of Python for Life Science Researchers.

An article written by Sebastian Bassi, gave a proper insight of what is Python and how it can be of great use for the Life Science Research Community. Here is a summary of that article.

Python is a modern programming language developed in the early 1990s. It is a dynamic high-level language with an easily readable syntax. Python programs are interpreted, meaning that there is no need for compilation into a binary form before executing the programs. This makes Python programs a little slower than programs written in a compiled language, but at current computer speeds and for most tasks this is not an issue and the portability that Python gains as a result of being interpreted is a worthwhile tradeoff.

Basically, this language is easy to learn, easy to read, interpret and multiplatform. Its simplicity is a design choice, made in order to facilitate the learning and use of the language. Another advantage well-suited to newcomers is the optional interactive mode that gives immediate feedback of each statement.

Python can be used to solve several problems that research laboratories face almost everyday. Data manipulation, biological data retrieval and parsing, automation, and simulation of biological problems are some of the tasks that can be performed in an effective way with computers and a suitable programming language.

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