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Question: Question: What are the name of some specific areas that fall within the scope of Bioinformatics?

Mukesh Jha
1388 days ago

Question: What are the name of some specific areas that fall within the scope of Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics seems a broad term, which is applicable in almost all biology related subject. I would like to know the name of all those areas.


Here are some specific areas that fall within the scope of Bioinformatics:
Sequence assembly : The genome of an organism is assembled from thousands of fragments which must be correctly stitched together. This process, which requires the use of sophisticated computer-based methods, is carried out by a specialist in Bioinformatics.

Database design and maintenance: Many pharmaceutical companies maintain private data banks of gene sequences and other biological and chemical information. These repositories must be continually updated with data generated internally and from outside sources. This is a challenging task, and the design and maintenance of these complex databases has become an important part of Bioinformatics.

Sequence (gene) analysis: Once the DNA sequence of a fragment of the genome has been determined, the work has just begun; one must next understand what the function of the gene is. This involves locating regions of the gene that code for a protein product that are involved in regulation and control and also finding those sections of the gene (introns) that are clipped out and discarded. The gene may be compared against databases of known genes with well-understood function, to find clues to its role in health or disease. All of these analyses are carried out using powerful computers and specialized software, and many would consider this activity the most important area of focus within Bioinformatics.

Proteomics: A relatively new area, proteomics studies not the entire genome, but rather the portion of the genome that is expressed in particular cells. This often involves cutting-edge technology, such as the use of micro arrays (DNA-on-a-chip) which allows the expression level of thousands of genes in a cell sample to be quickly determined. Once a large and diverse database of expression data has been collected, the next step is to identify connections between the patterns of expression of genes and a particular disease state. In this way, likely targets for drug and/or gene therapy can be located. Bioinformatics specialists work closely with bench scientists to accomplish the data mining that lies behind this next wave of the pharmaceutical industry.

Drug discovery: It's not easy to design drugs that choose their targets this efficiently. In fact, it's so difficult that drug companies have hardly ever tried. They have relied instead on trial and error, testing hundreds of potential drugs in animals to find a few that actually cure without killing. But these molecular crapshoots are terribly wasteful, which is why drug designers are today turning to a fast-growing new area of computer science known as bioinformatics to fuel their endless quest for newer drugs and better targets.

Bioinformatics specialists must acquire an unusual background, an eclectic blend of molecular biology, chemistry, and computer science. They work in close collaboration with bench scientists, helping them to plan and organize experiments and data collection so as to maximize the production of reliable and useful information. They are found in academic, government and industrial research labs.