Prof. Allen Moore explains that bioinformatics can deal with a huge amount of genomic data, allowing researchers to explore complex relationships between many genes or genomes.
So bioinformatics has arisen because one of the problems is once we started sequencing genomes now we have an enormous amount of information. That information comes to us in the form of computer files with a lot of information that is not useful. So, bioinformatics is going through the information that you have and finding the useful bits. It’s very much mathematically based and using mathematical tools to start to push aside the parts that aren’t going to provide as much information and find those pieces of the data that are going to provide us with the most valuable information. So, bioinformatics arose because we have more data, more information, more pieces of DNA that are doing something than we can just look at. So in the old days, you might have one trait, find one gene, and put those two things together and know that that gene influences that trait. Now we are looking at very complicated traits that are influenced by lots an lots an lots of different parts of the genome and so we have to sift through all of the information we have to find out how that all fits together, and that’s basically what bioinformatics does.
The other aspect of bioinformatics is that it uses what we already know to find related information inside something new, in a new project. So for example he might be interested in a gene that has been studied in mice and you want to know whether that gene or series of genes has similar influences in humans. You can compare mouse genome and human genome to see whether there are similar sorts of DNA exist in the human genome and then ask whether that then is associated with similar traits in humans.
For the first draft of the genome sequence, both teams were working to identify the number of human genes. Here, Ewan Birney, a "numbers man" from the public genome project, explains how genes can be recognized and the data from the genome project used.
The first educational product released by iPlant, DNA Subway (www.dnasubway.org) presents complex scientific tools and data in an intuitive and appealing interface, and makes high-level genome analysis broadly available to students and educators. "Riding"