To help with the increasingly large data sets that many scientists deal with, this book illustrates how to use many freely available computing tools to work more powerfully and effectively. The book was born out of the authors' experiences developing tools for their research and to fix other biologist's computational problems. An essential tool that provides researchers with freedom from the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of data processing so they can focus on the pleasures of scientific inquiry.
An essential tool that provides researchers with freedom from the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of data processing so they can focus on the pleasures of scientific inquiry
Before You Begin.- PART I: TEXT FILES.- Getting Set Up.- Regular Expressions: Powerful Search & Replace.- Exploring the Flexibility of Regular Expressions.- PART II: THE SHELL.- Command-line Operations: The Shell.- Handling Text in the Shell.- Scripting with the Shell.- PART III: PROGRAMMING.- Components of Programming.- Beginning Python Programming.- Decisions and Loops.- Reading and Writing Files.- Merging Files.- Modules and Libraries.- Debugging Strategies.- PART IV: COMBINING METHODS.- Selecting and Combining Tools.- Relational Databases.- Advanced Shell and Pipelines.- PART V: GRAPHICS.- Graphical Concepts.- Working with Vector Art.- Working with Pixel Images.- PART VI: ADVANCED TOPICS.- Working on Remote Computers.- Installing Software.- Electronics: Interacting with the Physical World.- APPENDICES.- Working with other Operating Systems.- Regular Expression Search Terms.- Shell Commands.- Python Quick Reference.- Template Programs.- Binary, Hex, and ASCII.- SQL Commands.- Index.
Practical Computing for Biologists shows you how to use many freely available computing tools to work more powerfully and effectively. The book was born out of the authors' own experience in developing tools for their research and helping other biologists with their computational problems. Many of the techniques are relevant to molecular bioinformatics but the scope of the book is much broader, covering topics and techniques that are applicable to a range of scientific endeavours.
Twenty-two chapters organized into six parts address the following topics (and more; see Contents):
- Searching with regular expressions
- The Unix command line
- Python programming and debugging
- Creating and editing graphics
- Performing analyses on remote servers
- Working with electronics
While the main narrative focuses on Mac OS X, most of the concepts and examples apply to any operating system. Where there are differences for Windows and Linux users, parallel instructions are provided in the margin and in an appendix. The book is designed to be used as a self-guided resource for researchers, a companion book in a course, or as a primary textbook. Practical Computing for Biologists will free you from the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of data processing so you can focus on the pleasures of scientific inquiry.