career repository

Bioinformatics.

By on Dec. 22, 2017

1. Career Overview

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field mainly involving molecular biology and genetics, computer science, mathematics, and statistics.The information technology applied to the biological information to receive, analyze and retrieve the biological data.
Bioinformatics basically study areas of

  • Analysis and integration of genomics data.
  • Prediction of protein function from sequence and structural information.
  • Cheminformatics comparisons of protein ligands to identify off-target effects of drugs.
  • Data Mining and computational theory.
  • Examples in computational biology include simulation of protein motion and folding and how proteins interact with each other.


  • 2. Origin and History
      A century ago, bioinformatics history started with an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel. He is known as the "Father of Genetics". The understanding of genetics has advanced remarkably in the last thirty years.
    • In 1972, Paul berg made the first recombinant DNA molecule using ligase. In that same year, Stanley Cohen, Annie Chang and Herbert Boyer produced the first recombinant DNA organism.
    • In 1973, two important things happened in the field of genomics:
    • 1. Joseph Sambrook led a team that refined DNA electrophoresis using agarose gel, and 2. Herbert Boyer and Stanely Cohen invented DNA cloning.
    • By 1977, a method for sequencing DNA was discovered and the first genetic engineering company, Genetech was founded.
    • Research work was continued and in
    • 1990 BLAST –fast sequencing was founded and in
    • 2001 The Human Genome was published.

    3. Education Track
    This course explores how computer science and mathematics, supported by information technology, have combined with modern laboratory technologies to solve previously intractable problems in the life sciences.

      3.1 Undergraduate Entry Point

      3.1.1 Eligibility Criteria
      Candidates must have passed 10+2 with minimum qualifying marks in aggregate with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as core subjects.One has to get 50% of marks in each of these subjects.

      3.1.2 Benefits
      - Emerging field with lots of upcoming options.
      - Candidate is focused on information analysis and management in biotechnology to understand the working of the human body.
      - Better understanding of core courses as these are taught in detail.
      - For B.Techstudents,they have a better understanding of basics of engineering and information technology.
      - All these courses are in popular demand and they open a lot of scope for career prospects.

      3.1.3 Challenges

      - Since bioinformatics is a combination of all the subjects a student with pure biology may find it hard to understand the concepts of computers and data bases initially.
      - Good innovative mind and analytical skills are required for better understanding the concepts of this study and who lacks cannot success in this field.
      - Most candidates do not realize their interests until they begin studying the same. It would be quite difficult for a non interestedstudent to apply himself over a period of their course. 3.2 Post Graduate Entry Point

      3.2.1 Eligibility Criteria

      Candidates having a bachelor's degree in computer science and an additional degree in biology are eligible to apply for higher studies in bioinformatics. One should have pursued the following subjects:

      Life science/mathematics/statistics/computers/information technology in one’s graduation. To pursue a course in IIT requires candidates a must qualify in the IIT-JEE entrance exams.

      The following universities offer cources in bioinformatics for both UG and PG graduates.

      - Jawaharlal Nehru University,NewDelhi. - WelingkarInstitiute of Management,Mumbai(Maharashtra). - Institute of Bioinformaticsand Applied biology ,Bengaluru,(Karnataka). - SRM ,SASTRA,Sathyabama are some of the Universities in Tamilnadu. - Courses are even offered in collaboration with foreign Universities.

      3.2.1 Benefits of Post Graduate Entry

      - Student has broad understanding of the subject and chooses to study it to better his job prospects or gain a deeper understanding of the subject. - Demand of the trained and skilled personnel, has opened up a new carrier option as bioinformaticians as high in academic institution and in the bioindustries. - Employers play an active role in our degrees by delivering technical lectures or taking a role in professional skills modules. Many PhD programmes include training and work experience in commercial laboratories. - Professionally trained student can get abroad job opportunities.

      3.2.2 Challenges of Post Graduate Entry

      - A student from a non related field (For example, aerospace engineering) may find it tough to keep pace with the other students. - Student may have to put in extra effort to better understand the taught concepts. - In the genetics research community have a lot of work to do to successfully fulfill the promise of personalized medicine, advanced crop development and effective biofuel production, amongst other things.

    4. Specialization or Branches

    Students learn simple programming language approaches using Python to automate the use of bioinformatics tools and interpret their output. Basic concepts of probability are introduced to help understand the significance of results. Areas of bioinformatics discussed include
      4.1 Sequence Analysis
    • This field includes DNA sequences analysis, Sequence assembly , Genome annotation , Computational evolutionary Biology , Comparative Genomics , Genetics of diseases,etc.

    • 4.2 Gene and protein expression
    • The analysis of Gene expression, protein expression and regulation can be studied with the usage of many bioinformatics tools.

    • 4.3 Structural Bioinformatics
    • Protein structure prediction is another important application of bioinformatics. The amino acid sequence of a protein,can be easily determined from the sequence on the gene that codes for it. In the genomic branch of bioinformatics, homology is used to predict the function of a gene.

    • 4.4 Network and System Biology
    • Network analysis seeks to understand the relationships within biological networks such as metabolic or protein-protein interaction networks.

    • 4.5 Software and Tools Development
    • The field of Bioinformatics is not only limited to the use of the codes and software tools which range from simple command-line tools, to more complex graphical programs and standalone web-services available but this filed also deals with the development of new tools and software.

      4.6 Developing Databases
    • Databases are essential for bioinformatics research and applications. Many databases exist, covering various information types: for example, DNA and protein sequences, molecular structures, phenotypes and biodiversity.


    • 4.7 Biodiversity Informatics
    • Biodiversity informatics deals with the collection and analysis of biodiversity data, such as taxonomic databases , or microbiome data. Examples of such analyses include phylogenetic niche modelling , species richness mapping, DNA barcoding , or species identification tools.

    • 4.8 Drug designing and development
    • At present all drugs on the market target only about 500 proteins. With an improved understanding of disease mechanisms and using computational tools to identify and validate new drug targets, more specific medicines that act on the cause, not merely the symptoms, of the disease can be developed. These highly specific drugs promise to have fewer side effects than many of today's medicines.

    • 4.9 Analysis of cellular Organization
    • Analysis of cellular organization - Several approaches have been developed to analyze the location of organelles, genes, proteins, and other components within cells.
    5. Career Path

    • The career in bioinformatics is divided into two parts-developing software and using it. Most of the bioinformatics companies mostly prefer persons from physics, maths or computer science background rather than biologists-turned programmers.
    • Training in bioinformatics in all undergraduate biology courses is needed. People working in this field must have knowledge in more than one field-molecular biology, mathematics, statistics and computer science and some elements of machine learning.
    • Applications on this course include Human health, Animal health, Agriculture and Aquaculture, Marine and terrestrial microbial, Environmental and natural resource recovery and Bio defense.
    • The career prospect in Bioinformatics include Scientist, Research associate,Professor,Reader in colleges and Universities,Data analyst in scientific organizations and Biosoft developer in IT industry.