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Robot Biologist Solves Complex Problem From Scratch

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John Wikswo

Vanderbilt University physicist John Wikswo has developed a very automated style of working, routinely using multiple computers and projectors to collaborate and communicate.

Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Dubois/Vanderbilt

Researchers at Vanderbilt and Cornell universities have demonstrated that a computer can analyze raw experimental data from a biological system and derive the basic mathematical equations that describe the way the system operates, making it one of the most complex scientific modeling problems that a computer has solved completely from scratch.

The Automated Biology Explorer (ABE) is based on Eureqa, software that was developed at Cornell in 2009.

The researchers chose a specific system, called glycolytic oscillations, to perform a virtual test of the software because it is one of the most extensively studied biological control systems.

Vanderbilt researcher John Wikswo is currently developing laboratory-on-a-chip technology that can be controlled by Eureqa, and will allow ABE to design and perform a wide variety of basic biology experiments. The researchers note that systems such as ABE have the potential to generate and analyze the tremendous amounts of data required to really understand how biological systems work and predict how they will react to different conditions.

From Vanderbilt University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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