Faced with growing demand to prove the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia are investigating the efficacy of herbal remedies using bioinformatics—the application of computer science to molecular biology—to build a database of effective treatments. According to Dr. Josiah Poon, from the university’s School of Information Technologies, the project applies data mining techniques and builds algorithms to ascertain the two or three core herbs used to treat particular ailments. The university is working with the Beijing, China-based Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences to build data on the efficacy of TCM treatments for insomnia. So far, researchers have managed to identify two or three herbs that seem to be important for all insomnia treatments. After completing its work on insomnia, the group hopes to turn its research to public health issues of concern in both China and Australia, such as cancer and diabetes.