A bioinformatics scientist is a professional who applies computational and analytical methods to biological data in order to extract meaningful insights and solve complex biological problems.
Bioinformatics is being used for an array of important tasks like analysis of gene variation & expression, simulation environments, analysis and prediction of gene & protein structure/function, prediction of gene regulation networks, etc. Sequencing is the process of determining the order of nucleotides of DNA molecules. It is performed to determine the order of four bases adenine - adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T) in a DNA strand.
To capture, manage, and interpret large biological data securely has always been a critical task for professionals; here Bioinformatics emerges as a great help by providing data-driven insights that enable professionals across Microbial Genomes to identify genes & proteins, determine their behavior & functionality, define evolutionary relationships, and predict conformation. Bioinformatics extracts knowledge from a large and complex biological data set by developing custom-to-need algorithms and software. According to the NCBI, “Bioinformatics is a set of practices applied through computation technology for collection, analysis, classification, recovery, storage, manipulation, and visualization of biological information.
Sequence analysis comprehensively represents a data-driven computational analysis of an RNA, DNA, or peptide sequence serving the purpose of extracting information about its biological function, properties, evolution, and structure. One of the significant applications of bioinformatics, Sequence analysis is widely used for the objective-oriented analysis of any organism's protein sequence or nucleotide. Different experimental methods are used to determine a biological sequence.
Next-generation sequencing differs from how the DNA or RNA samples were prepared and the data was analyzed. There are four types of commonly used Bioinformatics sequencing-
1. DNA Sequencing: It is performed to analyze the entire genome focused on regions of key interest for whole and targeted sequencing or to study DNA-protein interactions.
2. RNA Sequencing: It is performed by using different techniques to serve the purpose of targeted RNA sequencing to single-cell sequencing and to whole-transcriptome sequencing.
3. Methylation Sequencing: It is performed with targeted approaches for genome-wide analysis to have insights into methylation patterns of a single nucleotide level.
4. High-Throughput Sequencing: It is performed by using data-rich applications to process more samples with the purpose to increase statistical power.
Sequence alignment is a method of arranging sequences of protein, DNA, or RNA to identify similarities present because of functional, evolutionary, and structural relationships between different sequences. The purpose of sequence alignment is the identification of the location of insertions and deletions that may be present in either of the two lineages after the divergence from the common ancestor.
(2) mismatches (different nucleotides found in two sequences)
(3) gaps (A null base in one sequence and a base in other sequences)
Multiple Sequence Alignment: It is an alignment of three or more sequences of similar size. It is performed to identify common patterns and evolutionary relationships between genes. The key purpose of MSA is detecting structural and functional similarities between proteins with a comparative view to other protein sequences. The heuristic and dynamic approaches are used in most MSA sequence alignments.
Bioinformatics is aimed to enhance the understanding of complex biological processes. Bioinformatics is used to examine proteomics, genomics, 3D structure modeling of proteins, drug designing, image analysis, and more. Bioinformatics plays a key role in the fields of precision and preventive medicines development used to prevent, control, and treat infectious dreadful diseases. The seven more common applications of Bioinformatics are in the fields of-
Prediction of protein structure
Storage and retrieval of data
Discovery of new drugs
Biometrical analysis for crop management and pest control
The increasing genomic progress needs new tools for information extraction from the available data and sharing the extracted insights within the research community. Collaboration plays an important role in advancing the usage scope of genomics. Bioinformatics toolbox provides a range of algorithms and apps for microarray analysis, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), gene ontology, and mass spectrometry. The top 10 popular Bioinformatics sequencing tools are-
Bioinformatics specialists/engineers/scientists are enrolled for a range of job roles and responsibilities like-
Entry-level opportunities are available for those having degrees in computer programming, biology, and bioinformatics. Bioinformatics graduate programs include coursework in statistics, math, biology, chemistry, molecular modeling, molecular cell biology, database management, biochemistry, algorithms, Web development, computer programming, etc. The popular online short-term Bioinformatics certification courses are-