This book shows biologists with little or no programming experience how to use Perl, the ideal language for biological data analysis. Each chapter focuses on solving a particular problem or class of problems, so you'll finish the book with a solid understanding of Perl basics, a collection of programs for such tasks as parsing BLAST and GenBank, and the skills to tackle more advanced bioinformatics programming.
Very timely introduction to PERL
By Dr. Lee D. Carlson - November 10, 2001
Finally someone has written a beginning book on PERL for biologists, and has also done an excellent job of doing so. This book assumes no prior programming experience, and therefore suits the biologist who needs to concentrate on using computers to solve biological problems, and not have to become a computer scientist in the process. PERL can be a very cryptic language, but it is also extremely concise, and PERL programmers frequently and rightfully boast about their "one-liners" that accomplish complicated tasks with only one line of code.Since it is addressed to readers with no programming experience, the author introduces some elementary concepts of programming in the first three chapters. These include what text editor to use, how to install PERL, how run PERL programs, and other relevant elementary topics. The author then gets down to writing a program to store a DNA sequence in chapter 4. Very basic, it merely reads in a string and prints it out, but serves to... read more
Good intro for biologists;poor intro for computer scientists
By John S. J. Anderson "genehack" - March 15, 2004
"Bioinformatics" is the new sexy term for what used to be called simply "computational biology". Simply put, it involves pretty much any application of computation techniques to biological problems. The reason for the new nomenclature and the greatly increased interest in the topic is, like much in modern biology, a more-or-less direct consequence of the many genome sequencing projects of the last decade. The consensus in the field seems to be that it's more productive (and certainly easier) to teach biologists how to program, rather than try to get programmers up to speed on the intracities of molecular biology. For similar reasons, Perl is a popular language to learn: it's easy to get off the ground and be productive with it, without requiring a heavy computer science background. (This, of course, has downsides as well...)Never one to miss out on a trend, I'm going to be teaching a course on Bioperl and advanced Perl programming, starting next fall, which means I'm doing a lot... read more
Decent intro to the subject
By Chris Devers - July 26, 2003
As the banner above the title of James Tisdall's Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics indicates, this book is 'an introduction to Perl for biologists.' What the banner doesn't mention is that it's also an introduction to biology and bioinformatics for Perl programmers, and it's also an introduction to both Perl *and* biology for people that have never really been exposed to either field. The author has clearly thought a lot about making one book to please these different audiences, and he has pulled it off nicely, in a way that manages to explain basic topics to people learning about each field for the first time while not coming off as condescending or slow-paced to those that might already have some exposure to it.Superficially, this book isn't all that different from a lot of introductory Perl books: the Perl material starts out with an overview of the language, followed by a crash course on installing Perl, writing programs, and running them. From there, it goes on to introduce... read more
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