Bioinformatics is a field formed from the integration of mathematical, statistical and computational methods to analyze biological information, including genes and their products, whole organisms, or even ecological systems. It deals with methods of storing, retrieving and analyzing biological data, such as nucleic acid and protein sequences, structures, functions, pathways and genetic interactions.

The underlying principle of bioinformatics is that biological polymers, such as proteins and nucleic acid molecules, can be transformed into sequences of digital symbols and they are represented with only limited numbers of alphabets.

This has provided flexibility when it comes to analyzing biomolecules which has resulted in I the flourishing of bioinformatics.

It is also important to note that the growth and performance of bioinformatics largely rely on developments in computer hardware and software. Hence, we’ve had notable growth in the bioinformatics field because of developments such as cloud storage, big data analyzing tools and many more.

Essentially, we can say that bioinformatics has three components:

  1. The creation and maintenance of databases allow the storage and management of large biological data sets.

  2. The developments of algorithms and statistics to determine relationships among the data sets.

  3. Using analytical tools for analysis and interpretation of various types of biological data, including DNA, RNA and protein sequences, protein structures, gene expression profiles and biochemical pathways.

Application of Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics has many applications. Apart from providing the theoretical background and practical tools for scientists, it is also applied in the following areas:

  • Drug design

  • Predictive functions

  • Intellectual property rights

  • Genomics and proteomics

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