Aiming to be Bio-informatist or Bio-informatician?
written by: Finn Orfano
• edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski
• updated: 5/16/2008
The discovery of DNA, RNA and other biological functions has created a new field in which information technology plays a major part. One is storage of the discovered data and the second is the use of computer software to analyze and simulate new situations to see biological responses.
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Bioinformatics is an emerging field of
science where information technology is used to not
only store the huge volume of information about each and every biological
discovery, but also to conduct simulation of how a particular biological
species is likely to behave to a stimulus.. Bioinformatics includes
protein prediction, evolutionary relationships, designing databases, and
developing tools and softwares for different biological problems.
Bioinformatics is mainly divided into two
parts: Research and Development. They are taken as one but they are different. The difference between the two is that
research provides the observed biological
reaction and Development uses
different tools and techniques to understand that behavior. Development also tests whether
the introduction of any other bio-input would change the behavior, that is,
either stop, develop further, or attach itself to the new input and how it
interacts with the new input.
is where the Bioinformatist and Bioinformatician comes in. A Bioinformatist is the one who develops a software package or tool for a particular
biological problem. A Bioinformatician is the one who analyzes the software or
tool developed by the bioinformatist and uses it for further research.
Bioinformatists work with computer algorithms
and develop new software or tool based on the criteria of the biological problem.
They develop new software or online tools using different programming
languages. Database development is also done by bioinformatists. Their main aim
is to develop potential software that can help
analyze and provide further information to use with new bio-inputs which would
possibly provide the effectively answer the
biological problem. Another aim is to computerize the
biological data either by creating databases or by developing different sources to storing information.
Bioinformaticians work using the software or
tools developed by the bioinformatists and validate those tools for further
research. Once these tools are developed, the first task is to validate the tool or
software, meaning finding out whether it works properly and provides the desired results or
not. This work is done by Bioinformaticians. They check whether it is
completely efficient for the given task or not. Then, if the tool is completely
fit for the given task, they use it for further research.
Bioinformatists and Bioinformaticians must
work jointly to further research and development.