Biostatistics and Data Analysis
Biostatistics is the application of probability and statistical techniques to the biological sciences. Probability has played a significant role in areas like genetics where combinatorics validate conjectures about the relationships of genes and the environment. Recently, combinatorics has become one of the main approaches to solving problems, e.g., motif discovery in bioinformatics. In the nineteenth century, well-known biologists like Herman von Helmholtz advocated that biological phenomenon could be understood using techniques in the physical sciences (remnants of this view still are present today). That approach, together with the “vitalism” movement , impeded the use of statistics. By the beginning of this century, however, statistics has become de rigueur in virtually all biological publications.
Although statistics as a mathematical area can be traced further, biostatistics is often associated with the work of Francis Galton (1822–1911). His...
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