Have you ever wondered, what it would be if Biology, Maths or Physics, medicine, and computer science decide to join forces?
The answer would be Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics may sound like it some kind of fringe science that came out of a sci-fi movie or fantasy novel, in fact, it is a real term of science branch that combines all mentioned above to process massive information that is hard to do so manually.
According to the origin of its name, Bioinformatics consists of “Bio” and “Informatics”, which means Bioinformatics is a combination of Biology and Technical Information. In general, Bioinformatics is defined as the application of computational and analytical tools to capture and interpret biological data.
The birth of modern bioinformatics cannot be separated from the development of biotechnology in the era of the 70s, where a US scientist made an innovation in developing recombinant DNA technology. which led scientists able to manipulate DNA. the DNA sequence that codes for proteins are called genes. Then genes are transcribed into mRNA, from mRNA translated into protein. This elaborate information of DNA to RNA to Protein is becoming a dogma of molecular biology. The need to collect a sample, store and analyze biological data from DNA, RNA, or Protein database is what increasingly spurring the development of studies on bioinformatics. Bioinformatics was born on the initiative of computer scientists based on artificial intelligence. They think that all the phenomena that exist in nature can be created artificially through the simulation of its symptoms.
Bioinformatics is important for data management from the biology world and modern medicine. The main tool for Bioinformatics is a software program that is supported by the availability of the internet. Currently, the development of biological sciences is greatly influenced by the development of bioinformatics. It is undeniable that bioinformatics has accelerated the progress of biological science. Furthermore, when viewed from a more specific field of science, the progress, is greatly influenced by advances in bioinformatics. The more advanced bioinformatics in some fields of science (indicated by the number of software available), the more advanced the field is.
That has been said leading us to the use of
There are several ways to diagnose a disease, among the other is the detection of genes from disease-carrying agents by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). In PCR the main technique is the primary design for DNA amplification, which requires sequence data from the genome of the agent concerned and software. This is where Bioinformatics plays its role.
One way to find a drug against disease is to find a compound that suppresses the proliferation of an agent that causes the disease. Because the proliferation of the agent is influenced by many factors, these factors are the targets to find that compound. One of them is amino acid replacement analysis. This technique used to be done randomly, so it took a long time. After Bioinformatics was developed, the analyzed protein data could be accessed freely by anyone, both the amino acid sequence data and its 3D structure, all of these processes can be done faster and thus more efficiently both in terms of time and financially.
The role of Bioinformatics in the clinical field is often referred to as clinical informatics. The application of clinical informatics is in the form of management of clinical data from patients through the Electrical Medical Record (EMR) developed by Clement J. McDonald of Indiana University School of Medicine in 1972. McDonald first applied EMR to 33 patients with diabetes. Now EMR has been applied in various diseases. Stored data includes laboratory diagnostic analysis data, consultation results, and suggestions, X-rays, heart rate measurements, etc. With this data, the doctor will be able to determine the appropriate treatment according to the condition of a particular patient. Furthermore, by reading the human genome, it will be possible to find out a person’s genetic disease, so that personal care for patients becomes more accurate.
Until now, it has been known that several genes play a role in certain diseases and their position on the chromosomes. This information is available and can be viewed on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) homepage in the Online Mendelian in Man (OMIM) section (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=OMIM). OMIM is a search tool for human genes and genetic diseases. Besides containing information about the location of the genes of some diseases, OMIM also provides information about the symptoms and treatment of the disease and its genetic characteristics. Thus, doctors who find patients carrying certain genetic diseases can study them in detail by accessing the OMIM home page.
As one example, if we want to see about breast cancer, we just need to enter the words “breast cancer” and after searching we will find out the various types of breast cancer. If we want to know more details about one of them, we just have to click on the type of breast cancer we want to know more and we’ll get detailed information about it and the position of the gene that causes it in the chromosome.
Bioinformatics also provides a very important tool for the identification of disease agents whose causes are unknown. Bioinformatics plays several important roles in this regard. The first is in the process of reading the Coronavirus genome. Because in databases such as GenBank, EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), and DDBJ (DNA Data Bank of Japan), sequence data for several Coronaviruses are available, which can be used to design primer used for amplification of the SARS virus DNA. Second, in the process of looking for similar sequences (homology alignment) of viruses obtained with other viruses. The third is to analyze the extent to which a virus is different from other viruses.