Bioinformatics is the application of computer technology which is used for the management and analysis of biological information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and join together biological and genetic information which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development. The science of Bioinformatics is essential to the use of genomic information in understanding human diseases and in the identification of new molecular targets for drug discovery. Hence, bioinformatics is the combination of biology, computer science, and information technology. It is an emerging interdisciplinary research area and its ultimate goal is to uncover the wealth of biological information hidden in the mass of sequence, structure, literature and other biological data and obtains a clearer insight into the fundamental biology of organisms and to use this information to enhance the standard of life for mankind.
Nature of Work
Need to perform two critical roles: develop IT tools embodying novel algorithms and analytical techniques, and apply existing tools to achieve new insights into molecular biology. However, you must remember that although powerful and highly specialized in itself, bioinformatics is only a part of biotechnology. Getting a DNA sequence coding for a new protein does not automatically make it useful. Unless this information is converted into useful processes and products, it serves no purpose. You can not, for instance, have a virtual drug or a virtual vaccine. We need real products. And we need to develop our own new molecules (particularly if we have to survive in the new IPR regime).
combine the tools and techniques of mathematics, computer science and biology in order to understand the biological significance of a variety of data.
It is debatable which type of background, biology or computing science, is more advantageous. Biologists have three years of knowledge important for the understanding of biological problems and writing scientific papers. Computer scientists on the other hand, have the advantage of understanding all things informatics, which has a steep learning curve for the biologist who has never programmed before.
MS/ M.Phill (if BS/M.Sc.)
Equivalence if other than FSc (A’Level etc...)
Entry Test for BS
Fairly deep background in some aspect of molecular biology. It can be biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular biophysics, or even molecular modeling, but without a core of knowledge of molecular biology is like, "run into brick walls too often."
Understanding of molecular biology, how and why DNA sequence is transcribed into RNA and translated into protein is vital.
Analytical & Critical Thinking
The career prospects are increasing
Job prospects are in all sectors of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, in research institutions, hospital and industry.
One can find work in Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies where bioinformatics technologies are applied throughout the drug discovery process.
Companies such as Silicon Genetics, Accelrys and IBM Life Sciences Pubgene, Tessella are recruiting bioinformatics candidates, because it has made a substantial new market for IT infrastructure