Biological Informatics question
releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Tue Jan 30 11:10:28 CST 2001
Is that mo' boinfomatics or mobo infomatics, or less boinfomatics. teehee.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gail E. Kampmeier" <gkamp at UIUC.EDU>
To: <TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG>
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: Biological Informatics question
> I think we should give the molecular biologists the term "moboinformatics"
> and reclaim "bioinformatics" for ourselves!
> >I believe it may be too late (or too early) to reclaim the terms
> >"bioinformatics" to mean "information about biology" in general as the
> >terms would imply, but I need to point out how strange it seems
> >linguistically. In linguistics (most languages) the more general, less
> >specific, normal, base form of a concept is generally "unmarked" meaning
> >there are no added morphological embellishments to set it apart. The
> >unmarked form is shorter. Only the specialized forms of concepts, the
> >special cases, get extra morphological markers. e.g. "blue" vs "royal
> >and even "aquamarine". From that, you would think that "bioinformatics"
> >would stay the general concept and if you wanted to talk about
> >about genetics/protomics you would need to say "molecular
> >I think the takeover of the term was unavoidable, however, because of a
> >different and more powerful force in setting markedness. That is
> >of use. Concepts that are used more frequently become shorter words.
> >Molecular bioinformatics has been in the news (and Wall Street) a great
> >deal more than the more general term "bioinformatics - information about
> >biology". People and news print editors quickly got tied of saying
> >"molecular bioinformatics" and used the abbreviated form instead. The
> >way to reverse the trend would be to use the original meaning more often
> >the press. I don't see that happening but at least scientists should keep
> >aware of the distinctions so that we don't get confused about which we
> >I am sure I've succeeded in making this seem much more reasonable!?
> >Bryan Heidorn
> > P. Bryan Heidorn Graduate School of Library and Information Science
> > pheidorn at uiuc.edu University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MC-493
> > (V)217/ 244-7792 501 East Daniel St., Champaign, IL 61820-6212
> > (F)217/ 244-3302 http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~heidorn
> Gail E. Kampmeier, Research Entomologist, Illinois Natural History Survey,
> Box 5 NSRC, MC-637, 1101 W. Peabody, Urbana, IL 61801 USA
> ph. 217-333-2824; fax 217-333-6784; email: gkamp at uiuc.edu
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