Statistical Physics of Biological Information
Coordinators: Walter Fitch, Terence Hwa, Luca Peliti, Gary Stormo, Chao Tang
Rapid technological advances in molecular biology have generated an enormous amount of data such as DNA sequences, protein structures, and genetic expression levels. Extracting the information contained in these data is emerging to be a crucial task for both the understanding and application of molecular biology. Many problems in this field are statistical in nature, related surprisingly closely to many of the modern themes of statistical physics. This program will review the relevant problems in their biological context, and explore the application of ideas and methods of statistical physics to this emerging field. Topics to be covered include theoretical genomics (sequence comparison, gene identification, gene control and regulation), molecular interaction (protein and RNA folding, protein/DNA interaction, protein networks), and molecular evolution (phylogeny, viral evolution, evolutionary tree and network).