Cantarel, Brandi L. Department of Bioinformatics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
Last reviewed:June 2021
- Computation and algorithms
- Omics molecular composition and abundances
- Computational methods in structural biology
- Bioimage analysis
- Network analysis
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A discipline that combines biology, mathematics, and computer science to acquire, store, analyze, and disseminate complex biological data. The term bioinformatics was coined by Paulien Hogeweg and Ben Hesper in the early 1970s to describe the "the study of informatic processes in biotic systems." In this original definition, information processing inside of organisms or in biological systems is described. Along with the use of big data (that is, the collection, storage, and management of huge amounts of digital information), the field of bioinformatics (Fig. 1) uses computers to process information from biological experiments in order to understand how cells process information from the environment. Bioinformatics uses computer algorithms and data science tools to perform sequence analyses, database design and data mining, macromolecular geometry, molecular evolution prediction, protein structure and function prediction, genome annotation, and biomarker data clustering. See also: Big data; Biology; Cell (biology); Computer; Computer storage technology; Data science; Database management system; Mathematics
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