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Bioinformatics - Still confused?

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 5/6/2008

Bioinformatics is a new field of science which combines or melds biotechnology to information technology. It is a profession which pairs biology to computers. This is a rising field where one can match biology with computers, using the processing speeds of the computer and storage ability.

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    Bioinformatics is a new field of science which combines or melds biotechnology to information technology. It is a profession which pairs biology to computers. This is a rising field where one can match biology with computers, using the processing speeds of the computer and storage ability.

    Bioinformatics uses mathematics, statistics and different computer approaches to solve biological problems, process biological data, simulate the biological process through human created software. Many of the biological problems are being solved by a number of bioinformatic researchers. This field affords vast scope for those who can match their academic skills with software skills. If they have a background in each of the subjects, then the gates are wide open.

    Many computer algorithms are generated based upon the data using mathematical expressions and computer logics. Digitalizing the biological science is what we define Bioinformatics as. Nowadays it has become a great field and it has created a boom in the field of biotechnology. Many biotechnologists use the help of bioinformaticians and bioinformatiscists to solve their problems.

    Bioinformatics also help in diagnosis of many diseases. It has been made easy with the advent of genomics and proteomics. Once after the completion of human genome project, it has become a great asset for the medical fraternity to compare the human DNA sequence with other sequences, diagnose a disease more accurately, and also target drug or interventions through medication or surgery.

    Drug design is one of the major thrust areas of bioinformatics. This relationship between pharmacy and bioinformatics has given rise to a special field known as pharmaco-informatics. With the diversity of specialization, especially micro-specialization, more and more fields are being added to make use of this latest ‘marriage’ between biological science and computer science.

    In agriculture, as an example of non-human use, this combination has helped agriculture scientists to design pest resistant and higher yield seeds.

    While there is a debate on genetic engineering, as it is surrounded by controversy, there is no doubt that the scope of this ‘marriage’ is vast and increasing. The scale of operations of this merger/melding of these two sciences is raised nearly every day.