Biological Informatics question

David Chesmore e.d.chesmore at ENG.HULL.AC.UK
Tue Jan 30 10:31:55 CST 2001


I agree with Peter Rauch about bioinformatics and have found that in the UK
at least, the term "bioinformatics" seems to have been hijacked by molecular
biologists as a discipline dealing exclusively with genetics.

I am involved with different aspects of bioinformatics, namely developing
systems for automatically identifying animal, plant and insect species using
a range of techniques including acoustics and image processing but NOT
genetics.  From extensive discussions with colleagues and research councils,
this sort of research doesn't appear to be within the remit of
bioinformatics.  This is why I have called my research laboratory
"Environmental Bioinformatics Laboratory" to provide a distinction.  Another
area of bioinformatics that doesn't appear to be included is computer-based
interactive key identification and species diversity databases, although I
remember several people claiming bioinfomatics meant databases at ESF
meeting in Crete on taxonomy.

With regard to biology and ecology students being able to use internet and
computing, I feel that they should be able to do so. I think it is about
time that the proper definition of bioinformatics should be reinstated as:

"The application of computing to biology"

whatever the form of biology.

I prepare to be flamed!!!!!

Regards

Dave

Dr David Chesmore, FRES, MIAgrE
Department of Engineering
Faculty of Science
University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX
England
Tel: +1482 465062
Fax: +1482 466664




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