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Definition of Bioinformatics

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Definition of Bioinformatics Definition of Bioinformatics About Bioinformatics In February 2001, the human genome was finally deciphered! In other words, scientists have succeeded in reading the chain of more than 3 billion base pairs that

Definition of Bioinformatics

     

About Bioinformatics
In February 2001, the human genome was finally deciphered! In other words, scientists have succeeded in reading the chain of more than 3 billion base pairs that constitute the DNA molecule of humans; this process is called, sequencing . That daunting task required new analytical methods created by bioinformatics. The challenge was broad: identify all the genes and associate them with specific functions (field of genomics ), predict the structure of the proteins for which they code (field of proteomics ), and compare the roles of certain genes with those of other species in the living world (using biochips , for example).

The Definition of Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is the analysis of biological information using computers and statistical techniques; the science of developing and utilizing computer databases and algorithms to accelerate and enhance biological research. Bioinformatics is more of a tool than a discipline, the tools for analysis of Biological Data.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI 2001) defines bioinformatics as:

"Bioinformatics is the field of science in which biology, computer science, and information technology merge into a single discipline. There are three important sub-disciplines within bioinformatics: the development of new algorithms and statistics with which to assess relationships among members of large data sets; the analysis and interpretation of various types of data including nucleotide and amino acid sequences, protein domains, and protein structures; and the development and implementation of tools that enable efficient access and management of different types of information."

From Webopedia:
The application of computer technology to the management of biological information. Specifically, it is the science of developing computer databases and algorithms to facilitate and expedite biological research. Bioinformatics is being used largely in the field of human genome research by the Human Genome Project that has been determining the sequence of the entire human genome (about 3 billion base pairs) and is essential in using genomic information to understand diseases. It is also used largely for the identification of new molecular targets for drug discovery.

The three terms bioinformatics, computational biology and bioinformation infrastructure are often times used interchangeably. These three may be defined as follows:

  1. bioinformatics refers to database-like activities, involving persistent sets of data that are maintained in a consistent state over essentially indefinite periods of time;
     
  2. computational biology encompasses the use of algorithmic tools to facilitate biological analyses; while
      
  3. bioinformation infrastructure comprises the entire collective of information management systems, analysis tools and communication networks supporting biology. Thus, the latter may be viewed as a computational scaffold of the former two. 

Path to the Bioinformatics

  1. First Learn Biology.
      
  2. Decide and pick a problem that interests you for experiment.
      
  3. Find and learn about the Bioinformatics tools.
      
  4. Learn the Computer Programming Languages.
      
  5. Experiment on your computer and learn different programming techniques.

The computer has become an essential tool for the biologist just like the microscope. Eventually the Bioinformatics will become an integral part of the biology.

 

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Posted on: January 30, 2005

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Comments:1
azza babiker musa
October 20, 2011
PhD in bioinformatics

i am statisticians is it possible to do my PhD in bioinformatics?
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