Bioinformatics or computational biology is a fascinating science which uses a combination of Computer Science, Information Technology and Genetics to determine and analyse genetic information. In other words, bioinformatics is all about using computers to store and retrieve biological information, and also to help understand and assimilate it. In the last two decades there have been so many advances in the life sciences, especially in biotechnology and genetics; the amount and variety of biological data to be collected and the biological information to be analysed has grown beyond what anyone could have predicted. Since computers are the best tools to handle large amounts of information quickly and well. It didn't take a genius to figure out that an entirely new field of study, which combined computers and biotechnology, was needed to address this problem. The result was bioinformatics.
To the average computer scientist, data are data, and they can be analyzed in numerous ways; but without a background in biology, the computer scientist is working blindly, without understanding what the data he is processing means. This can lead to misinterpretations of experimental results. The biologist, on the other hand, cannot interpret the data which she understands, because she does not have the knowledge of computational analysis. Here’s where the bioinformaticist comes in.
Some of the most important applications of bioinformatics are to do with understanding basic biological processes in the body, ways in which these processes may breakdown and cause disease, and with designing processes to improve drug discovery and development. Bioinformatics operates under:-
Data Gathering:Enormous amounts of basic data from biomolecular chemistry and related areas, very painstakingly gathered over long years by experimental and analytical scientists, are the body and substance of bioinformatics; these are the first clients.
Data Processors:The professionals of bioinformatics science use skills of complex software, to serve the needs of the 1st client and the end users should understand the area of the 1st client and the needs of the end users.
Process Product Users: End users of products, 1st and the 3rd parties need not have the skills of the 2nd partner.
There are a large number of fields where Bioinformatics is applied. These include agriculture, human health and environment. Teaching bioinformatics should be comprehensive covering all the three partnering areas.
All the Bioinformatics Institutes in India takes in students for admissions after graduation. One needs to take science at 10+ 2 level with physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. Bioinformatics courses are available at the degree level (B.Sc., BE/B.Tech.), postgraduate level (M.Sc., ME/M.Tech.), M.Phil. and Ph.D. levels. You can choose either a BE/B.Tech. course in this discipline or a B.Sc. degree in bioinformatics after Plus Two. But degree courses in bioinformatics are rare. The entry qualification for an M.Sc. degree course in bioinformatics is a degree in biochemistry, biophysics, zoology, biotechnology, microbiology, chemistry, computer science, computer applications, electronics, mathematics, physics and statistics. Engineers, IT professionals and medicos can also enroll in bioinformatics programs. Advanced Diploma in Bioinformatics and online degrees are also offered by several institutes. For admission to M.Tech. course in bioinformatics, meritorious BE/B.Tech. holders in computer science and engineering, electronics, electrical engineering with a valid GATE score are eligible to apply
Undergraduate Courses (B.Sc/B.E/B.Tech Bioinformatics):
(1.) Amity University Amity Institute of Biotechnology - B Sc Bioinformatis , B.Tech Bioinformatics
(2.) Haryans Agriculture University, Hisar. Offers M Sc Bioinformatics
(3.) GGDSD College Chandigarh Offers B Sc Hons Bioinformatics ( 25 seats) Admission on the basis of merit in best 3 science subjects. Students from both PCB / PCM streams are eligible.
(4.) Government Girls college sector 42 Chandigarh ( 32nd Rank NIRF) Offers B Sc Bioinformatice ( 30 seats)
(5.) VELLORE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY- B.Tech Bioinformatics.
(6.) Jaypee University of Information Technology (JUIT), Himachal Pradesh - B.Tech Bioinformatics
(7.) SASTRA (Deemed University), Thanjavur-B.Tech.(Bioinformatics)
(8.) Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology- B.Tech Bioinformatics Postgraduation Courses (M.Sc/M.E/M.Tech Bioinformatics)
(9.) Pune University - M.Sc Bioinformatics
(10.) Jamia Millia Islamia university - M.Sc. in Bio-Informatics (Self-financing)
(11.) Banasthali Vidayapith, Rajasthan (University for Women)- M.Sc. in Bio-Informatics
(12.) SASTRA (Deemed University), Thanjavur-M.Tech.(Bioinformatics)
(13.) Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Allahabad -M Tech-Bioinformatics
(14.) International Institute of Information Technology at Hyderabad -M Tech-Bioinformatics
(15.) Bharathiar University - MSc in Bioinformatics
(16.) Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology(IBAB),Bangalore -Post Graduate (1.) programme in Bioinformatics
(17.) Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology- M.Tech Bioinformatics
(18.) Bharathidasan university- MSc in Bioinformatics
(19.) Periyar University - MSc in Bioinformatics
(20.) University of Madras - MSc In Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics scientist employed in government research institutes and hospital get salary as fixed by government. It can be Rs 1 lakh to 2.5 lakh a year depending upon work profile and experience. Those working in private sector pharmaceutical companies or multination companies get a pay scale of Rs 4.5 - Rs 6 lakhs per annum.
Bioinformatics professionals are absorbed in pharmaceutical and Biotech companies, premier scientific research institutes of public and private sector. They can also work with government and private hospitals and in the industries manufacturing various bio-medical products. One can also take up teaching jobs in public and private colleges offering bioinformatics as a subject. The scope of bioinformatics is in areas like database design and maintenance, sequence assembly, proteomics, clinical pharmacologist, sequence analysis, informatics developer and bio-analytics. Bioinfromatics is a versatile, vibrant, futuristic and important field, rich in applications. Today an extensive Bioinformatics Network, covering 120 institutions, spread geographically all over India has been established. The Network is creating human resource in Bioinformatics and carrying out research in different areas of Bioinformatics. Scientists of this network have published more than 1000 bioinformatics research papers in peer reviewed journals in last five years and helped in publishing more than 3000 research papers in biology/biotechnology. The network has also helped directly or indirectly several Bioinformatics companies in India. The scientists from the network have participated in major national millennium technology initiative projects of CSIR such as Biosuite of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) or software packages for visualization of bioinformatics data by Strand Genomics. The BTISnet is the first network which established BioGrid India of large bandwidth and high speed connectivity among various institutions in the country and also high performance national computing facility. Thus, this unique network has showed that India can work in network consortium mode. Some of the employers in Bioinformatics in India are TCS, Silicon Genetics, IBM Life Sciences Pubgene, Wipro, Reliance, and Tessella
Dr. Mani Lal Bhaumik, the USA-based physicist who invented the vision correction laser technology and won the Padma Shri this year for his work in science and engineering, has a dream. It's a bold and expensive dream and a hard one to turn into reality. Bhaumik is on a ten-year mission to produce ground-breaking research in bioinformatics and energy science in India. "The ultimate goal," he says, "is to produce a Nobel Laureate from India".
A lot of academicians time is spent teaching bioinformatics course during the academic year. Because of the growth in bioinformatics, much of their time is spent at meetings; planning programs, planning for hiring, managing programs, selecting students for programs. Curriculum development and planning for new programs are the key area where a bioinformatics professors spends time. In research, a certain amount of time is spent every day getting updates in the literature, finding out what is new, exchanging the researched points with students and thinking about particular problems the institute is interested in. Right now we are interested in getting better predictions of RNA secondary structure. Travel is another big thing - going to meet people and trying to figure out what is important to work on in the bigger community and how our work stacks up with others’ work.
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