What is biomathematics?

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Sherman Hoover

The biomathematics or mathematical biology is a scientific area that studies biological processes using mathematical techniques (Mathematics and its borders, 2017).

It is about the use of mathematical tools to deal with aspects of biology, medicine, ecology or environmental sciences (Lombardero Ozores, 2017).

In that order of ideas, biomathematics is an interdisciplinary scientific area that uses mathematics in different areas of knowledge related to living beings and their interaction with their environment..

As José-Miguel Pachecho Castela would say, mathematical biology that uses the power of the tools and methods of mathematics in the exploration of the world of the living (Pachecho Castelao, 2017).

Biomathematics is different from biometrics. Biometrics is the measured or statistical study of biological phenomena or processes (Real Academia Española, 2017).

In other words, biometrics is a branch of statistical mathematics that deals with the analysis of biological data and that includes topics such as population, physical measurements, disease treatments, and others like that (Homini, 2017).

While biometrics is responsible for collecting data and measuring them in biological processes, biomathematics converts these biological problems into a mathematical language that allows it to understand processes and phenomena of the living world from another scientific approach.

Relationship between biology and mathematics

Biology is the science of life (Bagley, 2017) and studies the structure, functioning, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms (Bagley, 2017). 

Biology has many branches or sub-disciplines such as biochemistry, botany, ecology, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, cell biology, genetics, psychology, zoology, etc..

On the other hand, math is the logical deductive science that deals with studying abstract entities such as numbers and symbols to formulate properties and relationships that help us understand the world around us.

As the two sciences have evolved in their techniques, methods and approaches, support points have been found between the two for certain contexts..

Population dynamics is one of the fields that prove the excellent results of combining the two sciences; Chaos theory and multivariate simulations study complex biological mechanisms.

Other cases that we can mention between mathematics and biology are the modeling of complex networks with graph theory in epidemiology, the use of combinatorial algebra to control systems in ecology, the theory of knots to explain the molecular knotting of DNA, etc..

The last aspect that strengthened the marriage between biology and mathematics was computing.

Through this machine (which works based on mathematical logarithms) it has been possible to carry out innumerable simulations that yield results according to new and advanced calculation methods that were not possible in the past..

Scientific utility and importance of biomathematics in the future

Mathematical biology is not a branch of biology or mathematics, but a multidisciplinary scientific area that takes conceptual elements from both..

It is a new area of ​​knowledge whose scientific literature is in an embryonic state and its future scope is difficult to predict with full certainty..

Because biology as a formal scientific field has little more than 200 years of existence (Pachecho Castelao, 2017, p. 173), its derivative, biomathematics is much younger to the point that its origins are still debated.

Due to the wide diversity of specialized scientific knowledge involved, biomathematical research needs the collaboration of mathematicians, bioinformatics, biochemists, bioengineers, engineers, geneticists, oncologists, zoologists, ecologists, among others..

References

  1. Bagley, M. (28 of 7 of 2017). What is Biology? Retrieved from Live Science: livescience.com
  2. Hom, E. (28 of 7 of 2017). What is Mathematics? Retrieved from Live Science: livescience.com
  3. Homini. (27 of 7 of 2017). Homini Biometric Platform. Obtained from Homini: homini.com
  4. Lombardero Ozores, A. (27 of 7 of 2017). A look at Biomathematics. Obtained from the Canarian Society of Mathematics Teachers "Isaac Newton": sinewton.org.
  5. Mathematics and its borders. (27 of 7 of 2017). Mathematical Biology, an interdisciplinary future. Obtained from Madrimasd: madrimasd.org
  6. Miramontes, P. (27 of 7 of 2017). Mathematical Biology. Obtained from the UNAM Faculty of Sciences: mathmoo.unam.mx
  7. Pachecho Castelao, J. M. (27 of 7 of 2017). What is Mathematical Biology? Obtained from the Canarian Society of Mathematics Teachers "Isaac Newton": sinewton.org
  8. Royal Spanish Academy. (27 of 7 of 2017). biometrics. Obtained from Dictionary of the Spanish language: dle.rae.es.

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