Thoughts on Metabolomics, Algorithms, and Software Development
Metabolomics is a rather young life sciences discipline, although its origins go back to the early days when people noticed that nutrition of an organism and exposition to the outside world influence the organism’s or physical appearance. Briefly put, if you go out into the sun, the UV part of the sun light will trigger chemical reactions in your skin cells, creating melanin as a natural UV absorber. However, if you stay in the sun for too long, your skin will no longer be able to adapt to the radiation and you will experience a nasty sunburn.
Metabolites are the entirety of small molecules that are digested, secreted, excreted, inhaled and exhaled. They build the foundation of every living organism on earth. They deliver the parts necessary to build nucleotides that make up your DNA, peptides, that make up your proteins, fat that keeps you warm, sugars that make you run, and much much more.
The vast amount of data that is generated from today’s experiments that try to determine metabolite abundances and identities in hundreds or even thousands of samples requires sophisticated processing methods with a solid foundation in computer science and statistics. These methods and their foundations will be within the focus of this blog, however, other interesting topics will be covered as well. Additionally, topics related to software development will also be covered.
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