An interdisciplinary team of scientists at Vanderbilt University, Cornell University and CFD Research Corporation, Inc., has demonstrated that a computer can analyze raw experimental data from a biological system and derive the basic mathematical equations that describe the way the system operates. According to the researchers, it is one of the most complex scientific modeling problems that a computer has solved completely from scratch.

The “brains” of the system, the Automated Biology Explorer (ABE), is software called Eureqa, developed at Cornell and released in 2009. Eureqa was originally created to design robots without going through the normal trial and error stage that is both slow and expensive. After it succeeded, they realized it could also be applied to solving science problems.

Robot scientists like ABE have the potential for both generating and analyzing the tremendous amounts of data required to truly understand how biological systems work, and predict how they will react to different conditions.

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Also: Learn about a biotic-abiotic interface  between the body and an artificial limb.

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