Challenges in Computational Biology

Michael Bachmann (FZ Jülich)

For the first time after a long period of diversification, the natural sciences currently reunify in a joint ambition to unravel the nature of molecular structures and their function in complex biological systems such as cells.

Starting from the cell - the acme of cooperative interaction among molecular constituents - some representative "machines" in this factory of life are highlighted. These examples exhibit the complexity of macromolecular interaction the biosciences are confronted with. The only up-to-date methodology that, although still in the beginnings, will finally allow for a deeper understanding of micromolecular aspects of biological processes is high-performance computing. Developments are reviewed and also dicussed in the light of generic aspects being intrinsic driving forces of these highly specialized and functionalized macromolecules.