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The application of computer technology for the management and analysis of biological data

The application of computer technology to the management and analysis of biological data is known as Bioinformatics or computational biology. Today information technology is used in a big way in molecular biology. Computers are used to collect, store, evaluate and merge biological data. Today it is a promising interdisciplinary research area.
The objective of bioinformatics is to unearth the wealth of biological information hidden in the mass of sequence, structure, literature and other biological data and obtains a clearer insight into the fundamental biology of organisms and to use this information to improve the standard of life for mankind.
Its significance in the genomic era is boundless. Genomics, the study of an organism’s entire genome is developed to understand the basic molecule of life which is known as the code of life.
It has intense effect in various fields like human health, agriculture, the environment, energy and biotechnology to advance biomedical research and development. It is being employed now in the areas of molecular medicine to help create better and more customized medicines to prevent or cure diseases. It is also employed to identifying waste cleanup bacteria and for producing high yield low maintenance crops.
Basic qualification of 10+2 in science subjects is needed. Graduates and post graduates with a degree in molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, chemistry, pharmacy, veterinary sciences, physics, mathematics, and also engineers, IT professionals, PhDs and medicos can go in for a course in bioinformatics. The courses include B.Tech in Bioinformatics, Master’s Degree in Bioinformatics, Advanced Diploma in Bioinformatics, M.Tech in Bioinformatics (Engineering)
Job Prospect:
The career option in this line is varied as today there is a spurt in the use of computers and information technology. Job prospects are in all sectors of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, in research institutions, hospital and industry. Some of the specific career areas that fall within the scope of bioinformatics include Sequence assembly, Database design and maintenance, Sequence analysis, Proteomics (the study of protein, particularly their structures and functions), Pharmacogenomics, Pharma-cology, Clinical pharmacologist, Informatics developer, Computational chemist, Bio-analytics and Analytics etc. The work involved in the specific career areas are Drug design utilizing 3-D structure modeling and computational chemistry (Cheminformatics), Comparing genetic data between and within species (Genomics), Genomic analysis in an attempt to find drug targets (Pharmacogenomics), Characterisation of proteins and their interactions (Proteomics), Prediction of the function of genes and proteins based on sequence and structural. One can find work in Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies where bioinformatics technologies are applied throughout the drug discovery process. One can also take up teaching jobs in public institutions.
A postgraduate joining a private sector pharmaceutical company can expect to get a salary in the range of Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month. Those employed in government research can start on Rs. 9,000 along with government allowances.
Lot of institutes around the country offer this course like Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology, Bangalore, Calcutta university etc.

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