Bioinformatics Homework Help

What is Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is the unified discipline formed from the combination of biology, computer science and information technology.


"The mathematical, statistical and computing methods that aim to solve biological problems using DNA and amino acid sequences and related information. "—Frank Tekaia

A Molecular Alphabet

  • Most large biological molecules are polymers, ordered chains of simple molecules called monomers.
  • All monomers belong to the same general class, but there are several types with distinct and well-defined characteristics.
  • Many monomers can be joined to form a single, large macromolecule; the ordering of monomers in the macromolecule encodes information, just like the letters of an alphabet

Bioinformatics Homework Help

Related Fields:

Computational Biology

  • The study and application of computing methods for classical biology.
  • Primarily concerned with evolutionary, population and theoretical biology, rather than the cellular or molecular level.

Medical Informatics

  • The study and application of computing methods to improve communication, understanding and management of medical data.
  • Generally concerned with how the data is manipulated rather than the data itself.

Cheminformatics

The study and application of computing methods, along with chemical and biological technology, for drug design and development.

Genomics

  • Analysis and comparison of the entire genome of a single species or of multiple species.
  • A genome is the set of all genes possessed by an organism.
  • Genomics existed before any genomes were completely sequenced, but in a very primitive state.

Proteomics

  • Study of how the genome is expressed in proteins, and of how these proteins function and interact.
  • Concerned with the actual states of specific cells, rather than the potential states described by the genome.

Pharmacogenomics

  • The application of genomic methods to identify drug targets.
  • For example, searching entire genomes for potential drug receptors, or by studying gene expression patterns in tumors.

Pharmacogenetics

  • The use of genomic methods to determine what causes variations in individual response to drug treatments.
  • The goal is to identify drugs that may be only be effective for subsets of patients, or to tailor drugs for specific individuals or groups.

History of Bioinformatics

  • Genetics
  • Computers and Computer Science
  • Bioinformatics