complete notes on Bioinformatics

complete notes on Bioinformatics - Introduction to...

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Introduction to Bioinformatics Lecture 1: Overview of Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology What is Bioinformatics? Defining the terms bioinformatics and computational biology is not necessarily an easy task, as evidenced by multiple definitions available over the web. A recent google search for "definition of bioinformatics" returned over 43,000 results! In the past few years, as the areas have grown, a greater confusion into these two terms has prevailed. For some, the terms bioinformatics and computational biology have become completely interchangeable terms, while for others, there is a great distinction. I'll throw my two cents in, based on what my experience has been to the consensus use of these two terms. Computational biology and bioinformatics are multidisciplinary fields, involving researchers from different areas of specialty, including (but in no means limited to) statistics, computer science, physics, biochemestry, genetics, molecular biology and mathematics. The goal of these two fields is as follows: Bioinformatics: Typically refers to the field concerned with the collection and storage of biological information. All matters concerned with biological databases are considered bioinformatics. Computational biology: Refers to the aspect of developing algorithms and statistical models necessary to analyze biological data through the aid of computers. In this respect, my understanding of bioinformatics and computational biology follows the NIH definitions listed below: Bioinformatics: Research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data. Computational Biology: The development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavioral, and social systems. Others have offered various opinions into these definitions as well: http://kbrin.kwing.louisville.edu/~rouchka/definition.html
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Image Source: http://ccb.wustl.edu/ Bioinformatics = Hot Field Smart Money: #1 among next hot jobs http://smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?story=working-june02 Business Week: Among 50 Masters of Innovation http://www.businessweek.com/bw50/content/mar2001/bf20010323_198.htm So why is bioinformatics a hot field? One answer to this question is that it is tied to the human genome project which has generated a lot of popular interest. Various advances in molecular biology techniques (such as genome sequencing and microarrays) has led to a large amount of data that needs to be analyzed. Now that we are close to having the human genome finished, what does it all mean? That’s where bioinformatics steps in.
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2008 for the course SCIENCE 111 taught by Professor Harer during the Spring '08 term at Duke.

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complete notes on Bioinformatics - Introduction to...

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