Digital biology: An emerging and promising discipline

Richard W. Morris, Carol A. Bean, Gregory K. Farber, Daniel Gallahan, Eric Jakobsson, Yuan Liu, Peter M. Lyster, Grace C.Y. Peng, Fred S. Roberts, Michael Twery, John Whitmarsh, Karen Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the role of computation and quantitative methods in modern biomedical research to identify emerging scientific, technical, policy and organizational trends. It identifies common concerns and practices in the emerging community of computationally-oriented bio-scientists by reviewing a national symposium, Digital Biology: the Emerging Paradigm, held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, November 6th and 7 th 2003. This meeting showed how biomedical computing promises scientific breakthroughs that will yield significant health benefits. Three key areas that define the emerging discipline of digital biology are: scientific data integration, multi-scale modeling and networked science. Each area faces unique technical challenges and information policy issues that must be addressed as the field matures. Here we summarize the emergent challenges and offer suggestions to academia, industry and government on how best to expand the role of computation in their scientific activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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