Perhaps it's easy to take for granted that there are now a plethora of applications to analyze biological data. But before Margaret Dayhoff, there was no established field of bioinformatics. Scientific American blogger Joanne Manaster has an informative post and video about Dayhoff's contributions to the field in recognition of Ada Lovelace Day, which fell on October 7 this year and honors the contributions of women in science.
To hear Manaster tell it, there really was no bioinformatics field before Dayhoff, a physical chemist by training, began tapping her computer and math skills to pioneer new ways to analyze biological data. Using a punch-card system, for example, Dayhoff invented the first computer program for molecular-data analysis. She also developed single-letter codes for amino acids, which are the main ingredients of proteins. Manaster credits Dayhoff with developing the first molecular database as well.
- check out Manaster's post and video here