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Open Access Highly Accessed Editorial

Opening Pandora's Box: making biological discoveries through computational data exploration

L Aravind

Author Affiliations

National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA

Biology Direct 2007, 2:29  doi:10.1186/1745-6150-2-29

Published: 20 November 2007

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Over two decades ago the first electronic databases which systematically collected protein and nucleic acid sequence and structure data came into existence. This period also saw the emergence of the first algorithms and their implementations to query these databases for sequence and structure similarities, to align sequences, and to identify of compositional features in sequences. A parallel advance was the integration of these disparate data collections into strongly interconnected databases, which included repositories of biomedical literature (e.g. Entrez). It would be no exaggeration to state that these computational developments played a role comparable to that of the polymerase chain reaction in the rise of modern molecular biology.