With its highly developed capacity to detect patterns in data, Perl has become one of the most popular languages for biological data analysis. But many biologists have a difficult time learning how to apply the language to bioinformatics. The most popular Perl programming books are often too theoretical and too focused on computer science for a nonprogramming biologist who needs to solve very specific problems. Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics is a practical introduction to Perl designed for biologists with little or no programming experience. It approaches programming as an important new laboratory skill and features many Perl programs and programming techniques that can be immediately useful in the lab. Select chapters focus on a problem or class of problems in bioinformatics and show how to use Perl to solve them. The problems, and the Perl, increase in difficulty as the chapters progress. Programming exercises are included for most chapters. By the end of the book you will have a solid understanding of Perl basics, as well as a collection of programs for tackling such tasks as parsing BLAST and GenBank. If you've been wanting to learn how to solve programming problems in bioinformatics using Perl, this book has everything you need to get started. The book covers : Programming basics and working with DNA sequences and strings ; Debugging your code ; Simulating gene mutations using random number generators ; Regular expressions and finding motifs in data ; Arrays, hashes, and relational databases ; Regular expressions and restriction maps ; Using Perl to parse PDB records, annotations in GenBank, and BLAST output.