At the end of this lecture, student will be able to

       Define bioinformatics

       Understand the objectives of bioinformatics


What is Bioinformatics?

 It is a inter disciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data

Intensive datas can be handled by bio informatics

It deals with the application of computers to collect, organize, analyse and validate the datas

       Biologists are increasingly finding that the management of complex data sets is becoming a bottleneck for scientific advances.

       Therefore, bioinformatics is rapidly become a key technology in all fields of biology.

The present barrier in bioinformatics include the

       education of biologists in the use of advanced computing tools,

       the recruitment of computer scientists into this evolving field,

       the limited availability of developed databases of biological information, and

       the need for more efficient and intelligent search engines for complex databases.

       Used in the field of molecular biology and genomics – hence massive amount of datas are available

       Databases – are available – stores data in a uniform and consistence manner – Contain DNA sequencing, DNA and protein structures

       GenBank – managed by National center biology information – 1ST DATABASE setup to store DNA sequencing data – 1982

       EMBL – European molecular biology laboratory – DNA and RNA sequences – they have collected information's from the patents filed and scientific literatures – western Europe – 17 countries

       EC – Enzyme – Alternate names, catalytic activity, diseases associated with the deficiency of the enzymes

       Protein databank – 3D structures of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates

       Protein modeling – Proteins – folding or threading

       Use of protein modeling – protein in 3D allows for greater understanding of protein functions – providing a virtual understanding

       Homology and similarity tools – used to analyse the similarity between two structures or sequences

       Molecular medicine – Most of diseases are related to genetic and environmental components – we can search gene directly associated with different diseases – better drugs can be invented

Bioinformatics – application

Personalized medicine

       Pharmacogenomics – study how an individual’s genetic inheritance affects body’s response to drugs

       At present doctors use trial and error method to find best medicine to treat a particular patient

       In future doctors will be able to analyse the patients genetic profile and prescribe the best available medicine and dosage from beginning

Evolutionary studies

       Sequencing of genomes from organisms

       Helps to determine the tree of life

Microbial genomic application

       MGP – project – to sequence genomes of bacteria

       Useful in energy production, waste management, industrial processing

       Scientists can understand these microbes at fundamental level

       Isolate the genes that give them their unique abilities to survive under extreme conditions


  1. Organizing biological data

       Bioinformatics organizes data in such a way that allows researchers to access existing information and to submit new entries

Eg. Protein databank – macromolecules

       Information stored in databank become useless until it is analysed

2. Analysis of data

       To develop tools and resources – helps in analysis of data

Eg. Having sequenced a particular protein – compare it with previously characterized sequence

       Development of such tools require extensive knowledge of computational biology and understanding of biology

3. Interpretation and application of data

       Third objective is to use these tools to analyse the data and interpret the results in a biologically meaningful manner


       Bioinformatics means to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data

       Objectives – Organizing, analyzing and interpreting data’s

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