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Unformatted text preview: 1 2 CENTRAL SERICULTURAL RESEARCH & TRAINING INSTITUTE Introduction Ever since the human genome has been deciphered, it has emerged that bioinformatics will become increasingly important for many areas in the life sciences. This era has seen an explosion of information discovered from the areas of molecular biology and genetics. The focus of bioinformatics is dealing with this flood of information turning it into useful knowledge. The flow of information has revolutionized many fields of biosciences. It is also important for the improvement of genomes of economically important crops and animals. Full understanding and application of this new data requires a large and growing body of intelligent, creative and experienced scientists with strong understanding of both computation and biology. The post-genomic era has thrown great challenges for the scientists to create, manage and interpret the massive sets of complex biological data. Rapid advances in information technology, computer science, structural biology and development of sophisticated computational software and tools have played a key role in deciphering the structure and function of biological molecules, which has great relevance to agriculture, human health and environment. It is befitting to state that the increased significance of bioinformatics can no longer be overemphasized. The Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India has reacted to this development with the establishment of a special research focus on bioinformatics. The department has established a nation wide network of bioinformatics centres spread across the country even the farthest corners. This network has established a link between diverse groups of scientists working in various R & D institutions and universities engaged in specified areas of biotechnology. I am proud to state that Central Sericultural Research & Training Institute, Mysore, which is the premier research institute for sericulture in the country, is a part of this prestigious network. The bioinformatics centre of this institute was established in 1999 to primarily support biotechnological research in sericulture. The annual meeting of the coordinators of BTISnet is held to review the progress and activities of all the centres. It is highly overwhelming to host such an important event of this year in this institute. The progress reports of all the centres compiled in this volume is a valuable document for taking stock of the activities and achievements of the BTISnet. I earnestly foresee that these two days congregation of ignited brains will provide an excellent platform for meaningful interaction, exchange of valuable ideas and new thoughts, which will lead to new breakthroughs. I am confident that this will further enable us to conquer greater heights in the field of Bioinformatics....
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