Biologists and mathematicians alike are finding their respective disciplines meeting at a very busy crossroads. The rapid advances in both fields, they say, have resulted in an explosion of information in the life sciences, and the creation of sophisticated mathematical tools for handling complicated biological systems.

Studies over the entire range of the life sciences--from the molecular level (DNA and proteins) to entire organisms and ecosystems--benefit from insights derived from the mathematical sciences, encompassing mathematics, statistics, computer sciences, and theoretical physics, note researchers from these disciplines.

One highly publicized mathematical concept that has found wide use in interpreting biological phenomena is game theory, for which Reinhard Selten, a mathematician at the University of Bonn in Switzerland, and economists John F. Nash of Princeton University and John C. Harsanyi of the University of California, Berkeley, won the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics.

"Game theory provides a mathematical way to find the...

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