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Just as in programming, there are no short cuts here. http://norvig.com/21-days.html

I too think this is something to be on the curve of. You're gonna have to at least learn the basics of [organic] chemistry, genetics, molecular genetics and cellular biology. A blackbox approach will give you a very low ceiling.

Some books to start with:

Genes, Proteins and Computers

A Practical Introduction to the Simulation of Molecular Systems

Understanding Bioinformatics

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