Bioinformatics is a new science in which computer science, biology, and information technologies merged together. It was primarily created out of necessity. The large boom in data being collected by various scientists in the fields of genetics, chemical engineering, and many others created a need for databases to store and organize the information. This is where the need for bioinformatics arose. Many fields, including information technology, were combined to create the field of bioinformatics.

Bioinformatics is sometimes also called computational biology.


Applications of Bioinformatics

  • Evolutionary Biology - scientists test to see the homology between diseases, to find similar traits between them. This is due to the evolution of diseases leaving behind certian characteristics that could best be discovered through data mining the information.
  • Protein Modeling
  • Genome Mapping (HGP) - The Human Genome Project is the best example of this. To better document, and allow for further research to be conducted on the information, the team of the HGP put all their gathered information into databases.
  • Measuring Biodiversity - By measuring biodiversity, all the characteristics of certain animal species can better be studied. One idea is that endangered species' DNA could be documented on computers so they may be cloned in the future if they ever become extinct.
  • Many others… (

Human Genome Project

Bioinformatics played a huge role in the Human Genome Project. The purpose of the HGP was to map the entire human genome, store the information gathered in databases, and improve the tools for data analysis. This project was one of the first large scale applications of bioinformatics.

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Related Terminology:

The Human Genome Project
Computational Biology