Exploring the conformations of nucleic acids
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 November 2008
This paper presents an application of functional programming in the field of molecular biology: exploring the conformations of nucleic acids. The Nucleic Acid three-dimensional structure determination problem (NA3D) and a constraint satisfaction algorithm are formally described. Prototyping and experimental development using the Miranda functional programming language, over the last four years, are discussed. A Prolog implementation has been developed to evaluate software engineering and performance criteria between functional and logic programming. A C++ implementation has been developed for distribution purpose and to solve large practical problems. This system, called MC-SYM for ‘Macromolecular Conformation by SYMbolic generation’, is used in more than 50 laboratories, including academic and government research centres and pharmaceutical companies.
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