Introduction to bioinformatics



Bioinformatics is a multifaceted discipline combining many scientific fields including computational biology, statistics, mathematics, molecular biology, and genetics. Bioinformatics enables biomedical investigators to exploit existing and emerging computational technologies to seamlessly store, mine, retrieve, and analyze data from genomics and proteomics technologies. This is achieved by creating unified data models, standardizing data interfaces, developing structured vocabularies, generating new data visualization methods, and capturing detailed metadata that describes various aspects of the experimental design and analysis methods. Already there are a number of related undertakings that are dividing the field into more specialized groups. Clinical Bioinformatics and Biomedical Informatics are emerging as transitional fields to promote the utilization of genomics and proteomics data combined with medical history and demographic data towards personalized medicine, molecular diagnostics, pharmacogenomics and predicting outcomes of therapeutic interventions. The field of bioinformatics will continue to evolve through the incorporation of diverse technologies and methodologies that draw experts from disparate fields to create the latest computational and informational tools specifically design for the biomedical research enterprise.