Bioinformatics has become a hot word in today's science field. But about ten or twenty years ago, biology and computer science were seen as two completely different fields. At present, the bioinformatics has become a combination of computer science and biology.
What is bioinformatics?

According to Wikipedia, bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to developing methods and software tools for understanding biological data. As an interdisciplinary scientific field, bioinformatics combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data.
Various biological analyses result in a large amount of biological data, making manual analysis becomes very difficult. This is where computer science comes in. Various computing technologies are used to analyze biological data more accurately and efficiently through automated processes. Therefore, bioinformatics can be viewed as a field of data science that solves biological and medical problems.

Why do we learn and apply bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics has become an interdisciplinary subject. If you are a biologist, you will find that having bioinformatics knowledge can benefit your experiments and research.

Today's employment industry is filled with gaps in bioinformatics skills. Large pharmaceutical, biotechnology and software companies are seeking to hire professionals with experience in bioinformatics, who will handle large amounts of biological and health information.

The main applications of bioinformatics can be found in the fields of precision medicine and preventive medicine. Precision medicine includes healthcare technologies tailored to individual patients, including treatment and practice. Precision medicine is not a cure, but rather focuses on developing preventive measures. Some of the diseases of concern are influenza, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Research is ongoing to identify patients' genetic alterations, enabling scientists to come up with better treatments and possibly even preventive measures. Certain types of cancer caused by this genetic change can be identified in advance and can be treated before the condition worsens. You can learn more about the role of bioinformatics in cancer treatment at the National Cancer Institute.

How to deal with bioinformatics data?

First, you will have the opportunity to learn some biological knowledge, especially genetics and genomics. This will include studying genes, DNA, RNA, protein structures, various synthetic processes, and more.
Next, you will have to study biological sequences (for example, sequences found in DNA, RNA, and proteins), as well as techniques for discovering and analyzing various patterns and information sites within them. You will encounter various algorithms used by different technologies. In addition, you will have the opportunity to use various machine learning and data mining techniques such as hidden Markov models, neural networks and clustering. Because you are dealing with a large amount of data, you must have a good understanding of statistics because you must analyze the data according to specific requirements.

Of course, you need good programming skills. R, Python and Bash are the most commonly used programming languages in biological data analysis. Deciding which one to start with depends on your goals. You can also use other languages such as C / C ++ and Java.

After having a basic understanding of the basic concepts, you can explore other areas such as structural bioinformatics, systems biology, and biological networks.
Humans are a fascinating animal, and their genomes are even more fascinating. The entire genome stored in a DNA molecule is exciting because it can encode such a large amount of data in a tiny entity and accurately decode it to create unique humans with their own unique characteristics. However, certain changes in gene expression can lead to fatal genetic diseases. The healthcare ecosystem needs to take steps to identify such diseases and provide treatment and preventative measures to help save lives.

It turns out that bioinformatics has huge potential to detect diseases early, identify treatments and help improve human life. With the inspiration and knowledge of computer science, fields such as genetic technology, medicine and healthcare can go from treating a single patient to curing an entire population.

Author's Bio: 

CD Genomics