Computational Biology


Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Computational Biology - Videos


The story of how fruit flies, odors and computer science came together at Salk

It might seem like fruit flies would have nothing in common with computers, but Assistant Professor Saket Navlakha explains the story behind how fruit flies and computers identify novel information in similar ways—and why the research matters.
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Fruit fly brains inform search engines of the future

Salk scientists, Saket Navlakha and Charles Stevens have a paper that shows that the way fruit flies identify smells that are most similar to ones they’ve encountered previously could improve computer search algorithms. That’s because identifying similar images or music or documents in a database is the same kind of problem (known as a “similarity search”), which the fly brain solves in a novel way that can be applied to computers.
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How plant architectures mimic subway networks

Salk scientists use 3D laser scanner to reveal mysteries of plant growth not apparent to the naked eye. Read more »

How the brain recognizes what the eye sees

New Salk Institute work outlining brain’s visual process could improve self-driving cars and point to therapies for sensory impairments. Read more »

How synapses work

Salk scientists computationally reconstructed brain tissue in the hippocampus to study the sizes of connections (synapses). The larger the synapse, the more likely the neuron will send a signal to a neighboring neuron. The team found that there are actually 26 discrete sizes that can change over a span of a few minutes, meaning that the brain has a far great capacity at storing information than previous thought. Read more »