Bioinformatics is a very complicated and challenging word for an ordinary person to understand, much more complex in its study. And what most of us are not quite aware of is that bioinformatics has been very useful in our everyday living. Our lives and our future depended so much on the study of bioinformatics.
What Is Bioinformatics?
Bioinformatics is an approach to analyzing biological information (genes, genomes, cells, proteins, medical information, artificial intelligence (AI), ecological systems) through computational management, information technology, and biology.
Bringing together the biological information acquired through computer technology and the biological data processing helps scientists find the answer to their questions. Their studies are expected to yield the information they are looking for in the study of almost everything around us from the environment, food, diseases, drugs, and more.
Various Applications Of Bioinformatics Medicine
In the field of modern medicine, bioinformatics has been very useful in drug discovery. The concept of x-ray crystallography in discovering new drugs emerged when the first of its kind three-dimensional arrangement of protein was constructed. This has radically changed how drugs are developed. Structure of proteins affects drug discovery in every phase of the design process.
Scientists are still working on how medicines could be designed to be more personalized based on the susceptibility characterization of each person to prevent, cure, or treat their symptoms individually.
“Translational bioinformatics is well positioned to contribute to the many challenges inherent in bridging this gap between our current reactive methods of healthcare delivery and the intent of precision medicine, particularly in the areas of drug development,” Joel Dudley and co-author explain.
Microbial Genome Applications
Bioinformatics is also useful in waste cleanup, climate change, biotechnology, and alternative energy. “Bioremediation is the recent technology which explores the microbial potentiality for biodegradation of xenobiotics compounds,” M. H. Fulekar, Ph.D. and collaborator, wrote.
Guinness Book of World Record recorded Deinococcusradiodurans Bacterium as the toughest bacterium in the world. It can restore damaged DNA from chromosomes by isolating damage segments in a concentrated area since it has more copies of the genome. Scientists are inserting genes from other bacteria to Deinococcusradiodurans for environmental cleanups, like in radioactive waste sites. This was being done to break down basic chemicals, solvents, and other heavy materials present in irradiated waste sites.
Oceanic processes, volcanic eruptions, various solar radiations that enters the earth, and human activities that induce alterations in our nature are some of the things that cause climate change. Studying genomes of microorganisms allows scientists to know and understand these microbes, their activities, and functions. They were able to take apart and analyze the genes that give these organisms abilities to survive extreme conditions.
Scientists are studying the genome of Chlorobiumtepidum, a microbe which has a unique ability to generate energy from the light. It contains Gram-negative green sulfur bacterium that was abstracted from a hot spring in New Zealand. This green bacterium can perform photosynthesis very different from that of the plants as it does not produce oxygen in the process. Scientists concluded that these bacteria produce energy from the light during that time when there was very little oxygen on Earth’s atmosphere. Dr. Rafi Ahmad, PhD, also said that it can contribute to Comparative Genomics, “Common features of different organisms are encoded in DNA.”
Agriculture also benefits from bioinformatics when it comes to crop improvement, insect resistance, and improvement of nutritional quality as scientists succeeded when they transferred genes into rice that increases the vitamin A value, iron, and other micronutrients in the rice we consume. Researches done on other crops also lead to understanding the plants’ ability to combat insect attack which could result in the use of fewer insecticides. This would mean higher nutritional value will be present in the crops that we consume.
Yields, genetic resistance to diseases, hybrid dynamism, as well as adaptive responses are being studied and improved utilizing bioinformatics for the crops to survive various environmental conditions (from dry soil to flooded regions).
From the raw structure, scientists were able to construct the 3D model of the protein sequence, genes, genomes, etc., and then generate their functionality and interaction with other proteins through analysis. Scientists were able to understand how genomes, genes, proteins, and metabolic pathways inside the cell evolved. Thus, it allowed them to find new methods to improve the lives of many through revolutionary discoveries in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and environmental safety and protection. And still, bioinformatics is being utilized by scientists as our world move forward to a new height of discoveries which is done faster and more proficiently.
Priyadarshi, M. (2014, September 18). Applications of bioinformatics. Retrieved from https://www.biotecharticles.com/Bioinformatics-Article/Applications-of-Bioinformatics-3270.html.