What are Bioinformatics & Computational Biology?

What are Bioinformatics & Computational Biology?

Modern molecular biology generates enormous amounts of data. The challenge is to unlock the answers hidden in the data. This is where Bioinformatics & Computational Biology comes in. Complex mathematical and computer algorithms are key to converting this data to knowledge; without them the data is meaningless! Often subtle patterns and relationships are hidden in the data. Bioinformaticians and Computational Biologists use advanced theoretical techniques and some of the world’s most powerful computers to analyze this data and reveal the underlying scientific messages.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology are interdisciplinary research fields. Both are embedded in the life-sciences and combine the diverse worlds of biology, chemistry and physics with computer science and technology and mathematics.

Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics increases our understanding of biological processes by using sophisticated mathematical and computational techniques. It involves the creation and advancement of databases, algorithms, computational and statistical techniques and theory to manage and analyze vast amounts of data generated from life science technologies.

Computational Biology

Computational biology uses mathematical and computational approaches to look at theoretical and experimental questions in biology. The biological structures being analyzed can vary from the very small, such as individual molecules, right through to the more complex, such as molecular networks or even whole organisms and ecosystems.

Together, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology are a powerful duo that help us understand how information in genomes is transformed into the structure and function of living cells. They help find genes and determine how they are switched on or off, predict protein structure and even model evolution. The possibilities are endless!