Bioinformatics is a growing area of science that uses computational approaches to answer biological questions. Answering these questions requires that investigators take advantage of large, complex data sets in a rigorous fashion to reach valid, biological conclusions.
The field of bioinformatics is playing an increasingly large role in the study of fundamental biomedical problems. The challenging tasks of biologist on analysing gene discovery, design of molecular modelling, site directed mutagenesis and experiments of other types can be resolved previously with respect to the structure and function of bio molecules. Human kind is on the brink of another revolution. There is no doubt that the mapping of the human genome, completed in June 2000, is one of the greatest scientific advancements in history. This breakthrough in biological research was made possible by advancements in using Bioinformatics and computational Biology.
If sufficient data is available and all relevant components for life are identified more complex interactions can be investigated. For a holistic biological understanding of cell, simulations of cells, entire organisms and populations provide new insights. The simulation of life in silico is a future directive for bioinformatics that has started now. There are number of applications of bioinformatics namely sequence analysis and alignment, molecular modelling, docking, annotation and dynamic simulation to accelerate the biotechnological research. The importance of bioinformatics in various fields of biotechnology are genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, cheminformatics, climate change studies, drug discovery and development, waste cleanup, bio-energy, crop improvement, veterinary sciences, forensic sciences and bio-defense. In future it is expected that bioinformatics innovation in future will also meet the demands of biotechnology.
Bioinformatics aims to solve some of the important biological problems using computational techniques and applications. Prominent among such examples include those to gene-protein interactions, various protein structure prediction, molecular networks, structures and sequences, and genomics and proteomics. The knowledge of bioinformatics helps us tremendously in analysis and interpretation of various types of biological data including nucleotide and amino-acid sequences, protein domains /folding and protein structures etc. It is the knowledge of bioinformatics which made it possible to discover all human genes (per human genome approximately 3 billion base pairs) determine complete sequence of 3 billion DNA subunits and make them accessible for further biological studies.
Professor & Head,
Department of Bio-Informatics,
Coimbatore – 641 046.