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Intervention of Math in Biology

  1. Nov 19, 2016 #1
    We all know those kinematic equations.....!!!! It is pretty much amazing that how knowing about a particle's velocity and acceleration at a given point of time governs its velocity at any other point of time....... It is much cooler when you think deeper....... How just mathematics is the language of physics. It is(maths) is even significantly used in chemistry.....But in bio?????

    Can someone suggest ways to install math in bio or bio in math in such a way that just an equation would tell you about everything about an organism.....??
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2016 #2

    mfb

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    That doesn't even work in physics beyond the easiest homework problems. Real-life systems are usually way too complex to predict them with easy formulas. You need approximations, some models to simplify the systems, numerical simulations, ...
    Biological systems are extremely complex. Every atom in them follows the laws of physics, but there is no way to calculate the behavior of 100000000000000000000 individual atoms.
     
  4. Nov 19, 2016 #3
    The number 42 is, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything", calculated by an enormous supercomputer named Deep Thought over a period of 7.5 million years.
    To compare that result with current thinking and progress, check out some of Max Tegmark's work. The last I heard, he would suggest that it might be a series of math/physics equations to define a organism, even to distinguish our individual uniqueness.
     
  5. Nov 19, 2016 #4
  6. Nov 19, 2016 #5

    Ygggdrasil

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  7. Nov 19, 2016 #6
    Thanks @mfb...... But if u think understanding an organism fully is impossible, that is just 10^20 atoms, then how will science understand the whole universe, which we don't even know to define???? You being a particle physist, I am looking forward for your reply.
     
  8. Nov 19, 2016 #7
  9. Nov 19, 2016 #8
  10. Nov 20, 2016 #9

    mfb

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    You don't have to track every atom of the moon to understand that it orbits the Earth. And you don't have to know the position of every moon to understand the evolution of galaxies.

    Find models suitable to the problem you have.

    PS: Multiple exclamation or question marks in a row look silly.
     
  11. Nov 20, 2016 #10
    Indeed, a typical adult consists of about 4e28 atoms.
    Yet we found a way to understand each other. :-)
     
  12. Nov 21, 2016 #10

    Fervent Freyja

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    Of course, mathematics are extensively used in biology... Not only that, but numerous interdisciplinary fields have existed for a while now and many continue to develop. Just a few: biomathematics, bioengineering, biophysics, and biostatistics. Every so often I come across awesome examples of new uses of mathematics in biology, it's a very creative tool.

    Read this, it will give you an idea of how difficult it would be to reduce humans into an equation: An estimation of the number of cells in the human body

    I know all this is exciting stuff, but some advice that may help you socially: An easy rule to remember about exclamation points and ellipses is that they both should (usually) only occur in a single or triple mark (!/!!! or ./.../. . . ); while, using 2 of either may come across to the reader as a punctuation error, and more than 3 is distracting. To express more than one question mark, either ...? /?!/!? can work. Some people do view communicating with proper grammar and punctuation as being polite. Others will take you more seriously if they see real effort was placed into expressing yourself. I make errors all the time, but it’s more important to me that others can see that I tried. It's especially polite to make the effort when you are asking others to put in the effort to communicate as well. It shows that you care about yourself and others. One of my pet peeves is the abbreviation of words like "you" into "u"- it tells me that the writer doesn't think much of the person if they cannot make the effort to type two more letters. I couldn't even do that in a text message!
     
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