Benefits & Risks of Bioinformatics

Benefits & Risks of Bioinformatics, What are the possible advantages and disadvantages, Future, risk everything you need to know about it today!

What is Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is defined as “the application of information technology to … molecular biology … now [through] the creation and development of databases, algorithms, computational and statistical techniques, and
theory to solve formal and practical problems arising from the management and analysis of biological data
”, so simple told ya!

Lets switch on to something more understandable!

Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science and Commerce (GNCASC), Mumbai

Bioinformatics is a short form for ‘Biological Informatics’. This is regarded as an amalgam of biologics and informatics and many scientists prefer to use the term computer biology a few days later. Once human genome projects were launched the branch of science became more popular. Bioinformatics merges into a single subject biology, computer science and IT.

How Bioinformatics helps us?

As an interdisciplinary branch of life sciences, bioinformatics aims at developing methodological and analysis methods to explore widespread quantities of the biological database to support the storage, arrangement, systemization, annotation, visualization, inquiry, understanding and implementation of biological data, and as an experimental material “wet-bench” for the genome and genetic product research.

This incorporates traditional, modern informatics and cloud computing, statistics and mathematics and pattern recognition, rebuilding, machine learning, simulation, molecular modelling and folding algorithms.

However, the growth and advancement of the biological knowledge field are closely linked to the software and computerized programming required to manage large quantities of molecular sequences of DNA, RNA, proteins and the metabolites and structural and functional analysis.

Well, bioinformatics can do much more than this, think about it!

What are the risks or challenges in Bioinformatics?

Health Informatics experience has shown us that accuracy and error avoidance are causing ethical problems which are often linked to evolving treatment standards. When, for instance, new or existing database management practices are in effect, a database based system can become more or less efficient, reliable, and secure, depending on whether the database is being properly managed, checked, improved, etc.

Ethical Issues

Discrimination based on genetic knowledge has, in recent years, become a significant issue for patients and physicians. Genetic data privacy is more sensitive than clinical data privacy because this entails prejudice, not only against people but also against relatives who have not been genetically tested.

Furthermore, a person who has been genetically tested may make predictions about disease conditions or medical risks, including the risk of genetic discrimination. A National Library of Medicine manual states that, depending on the nature and scope of the trial, genetic testing can cost $100 to $2,000 or more.

In view of the likely future for genetic testing to be more affordable, more people are likely to have their genetic profile and the privacy issues of genetic data can not be ignored.

Recent court cases demonstrate the difficulties and risks associated with genetic information collection and use. The sensitive nature of genetic information has been recognized by the modern courts, and their recent rulings represent an evident need for more security of this kind of information.

Unauthorized access to medical records has been reported as an illegal privacy infringement. In addition, more than 100 bills relating to the use and misuse of genetic knowledge were introduced in 2000 by state legislatures. Several Working Groups, boards, institutes and the GINA Conference concluded the work on the prevalence of discrimination and made recommendations.

Data Storage, Standardization, Interoperability and Retrieval

Biological knowledge growth has created serious problems in data collection, recruitment and display at every level of the biological organisation, from simple DNA sections through to the global ecosystem. New research in nanotechnology, search algorithms, virtual-enhancing tools and more traditional approaches are meeting these challenges.

Data Publication and Knowledge Sharing

NIH also calls for the readily accessible and sharable release of all data produced by research it supports, which would lead to daunting challenges for existing strategies such as newspapers and websites.

Such issues will need to be answered in publications by the latest technologies like wikis (see http:/, and http:/ and bibliomics resources (such as TV: http:/ and PubGene:

The very meaning of the word ‘publication,’ especially libraries, has already started to expand so that raw data from experimental experiments can be circulated and archived (see DSpace: http:/ /), are directly involved.

To order to help the basic science biology initiative, an increase to the usage of “telepresence” resources like Access Grid (http:/ and online collaboration/knowledge exchange platforms such as AskMe (http:/ provide existing and improved technology.

Analysis/annotation Tool Development and Distribution/access

The intensive production in various departments/groups of universities and other institutions of open-source bio-informatics instruments has created a need to find ways of making such ‘home brewing devices’ accessible to the general bio-recherche population.

Tool Development

No equivalent kit or electronic medical record for bio-medical scientists currently exists for Microsoft Office. A framework for distributing and sharing these resources through the “UW HSL Bioinformatics Resources” segment is available in the BioResearcher Toolkit (http:/ bio researcher).

The web-based Protein-structure Prediction Tool developed in the UW Biochemistry Department by Dr Robert Baker, Robetta (http:/ is made accessible for users to the resources that are developed by national biomedical researchers and the local biomedical scientists. The BioResearcher toolkit also includes other networked software tools, such as Vector NTI and PubGene.

Hardware Development and Availability

Some applications in bioinformatics need massive computer resources. The development of clusters produced from readily available desktop computers (http:/ as well as specially designed supercomputing systems such as BlueGene IBM’s (http:/ meets this challenge. In addition, the innovations of a new class of “BioIT” specialists, such as “The BioTeam” (http:/, have improved the availability and use of hardware required for bioinformatics innovations.

Training and Education

The ever-evolving complexity of bioinformatics methods and the exponential growth of biological data have led to the need to develop better and more effective education and training programs in the collection and analysis of bioinformatics data.

training concept with education elements

Introducing and advancing training programs for the use of Bioinfunction Technologies, the EDUCOLLAB Group at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) developed a three-day intensive program for qualified students, faculty and staff in the use of NCBI online tools, commercial software and new growth.

Such workouts were successfully performed using devices for telepresence like the Control Grid. In addition, business training companies like OpenHelix (HTTP:/www.openhelix.coml) are now working on meeting the challenge and opportunity that such education and training requirements present.

Moreover, it has become increasingly evident that a new form of occupation, “”bioinformatics,” will be required to fulfil the large volume of data and research requirements arising from the digital imagery of the biosphere of the Earth.

Unintended Consequences

When scientists searched for clues of people who appear to be immune to HIV in their DNA the resistant people found that a protein had mutated which serves as an HIV landing pad on the blood cell surfaces. Since they appeared stable in the absence of protein, scientists have proposed that it can be the permanent cure of HIV and AIDS for removing their genes from contaminated or at-risk patients’ cells.

The scientific community started to envision almost infinite possibilities with the introduction of the latest method called “DNA Scissors” CRISPR / Cas9, promising to conduct easy gene operation for HIV, cancer and many other genetic diseases.

But CRISPR / Cas9 trials in human cells have yielded troubling results, with mutations in genome parts that should not be targeted for changes in DNA. While a bad hair-cut may be embarrassing, it might be far more serious to cut CRISPR / Cas9 wrong to make you healthy rather than sicker.

And if these modifications were made for embryos, the mutations could enter the gene pool permanently, which would transmit them to all future generations, instead of fully formed adult cells. So far, leading scientists and prestigious newspapers call for a gene-editing moratorium in sustainable embryos until they understand better the risks, ethics and social implications.

Weaponizing Biology

The world is currently facing devastating effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and in past diseases like Ebola or Zika virus disease outbreaks – but that is natural. Malicious use of biotechnology could lead to the deliberate initiation of future outbreaks.

Regardless of whether the perpetrator is a state actor or a terrorist group, it would be more difficult to detect and stop the development and release of a bioweapon like poison or an infectious disease.

In contrast to a bullet or a bomb, fatal cells may spread for long after they are deployed. The United States administration takes this threat very seriously, and it should not take the threat of bioweapons to the environment lightly.

Developed countries and even poor countries are able to produce bioweapons by means of resources and know-how. For example, the arsenal of ‘anthrax, botulism, hemorrhagic fever, pestilence, smallpox, typhoid and yellow fever’ has been rigorously assembled in North Korea, ready for an attack.

For example. It is not unreasonable to assume that terrorists or other groups also try to use bioweapons. In fact, numerous instances of the use of chemical or biological weapons, including a fetal frightening shortly after 9/11, were recorded, which left five dead after the mail sent to toxic cells.

And the chance that a hypothetical bioweapon aimed at a certain ethnicity, or even a single individual such as a world leader might become reality, is increasing with new gene-editing technology.

While traditional arms attacks may require considerably less expertise, the risks of bio arms should not be ignored. Bioweapons without a lot of expensive materials or scientific knowledge could seem impossible, but recent biotechnological advances can facilitate the production of bioweapons outside a specialized research laboratory.

The cost of the chemical production of DNA strands fell rapidly so one day the ‘printing’ of fatal proteins or cells at home can be made affordable. And the publication openness of science, which was vital to our rapid progress in research, also means that Google can freely provide chemical details of deadly neurotoxins.

Indeed, it was not that the experiments were performed, that the most controversial aspect was that the researchers wanted to divide the details in an open manner.

Benefits of Bioinformatics?

Health Care

The field of biomedical research is rapidly emerging. Bioinformatic tools help in the management and analysis of these data for health care as genomic and biomedical data collect.

Bioinformatics can be seen as a subdiscipline of biomedical data processing that addresses molecular biomedical challenges. This directly affects the development of new diagnostics, therapies and vaccines as well as an understanding of the mechanisms for infectious diseases, pathogen-host interactions, and the cycle of transmission.

The availability of bioinformatics tools contributes by identifying genes susceptible to diseases and developing a range of new treatments to achieve potential benefits of a human genome project, by predicting patients at risk for adverse reactions or patients with a higher probability of improved efficacy.

A bioinformatics approach for understanding proteomic data can lead to an accurate correlation of patient response clinical parameters with a specific therapy.

The detection of genetic makeup not only leads to a better understanding of genes that cause or contribute towards diseases but helps medical workers prescribe the right medicine for each person.

Moreover, this knowledge may prevent the negative side effects of the “one-size-all” drug prescription method, which is used today most often. It is also likely that bioinformatics leads to new disease classifications. Traditionally symptomatic disease (phenotype) may be reclassified based on its genetics (genotype).

Drug Discovery

The process of drug discovery is complex, time-consuming and costly. Typically, the development of a candidate medicine takes about five years, while clinical phases, which could lead to commercial availability, are even more time-consuming at a total cost of more than $700 million.

Pharmaceutical industries focused on the rational, structural drug design, from the trial and error process of the discovery of drugs. A successful and reliable process for drug design can reduce the time and costs of developing useful drug substances.

Computation methods are applied for the prediction of the ‘druglike’ that is nothing but the identification and removal, in the later stages of discovery and development, of candidate molecules.

Genetic algorithms might predict drug resemblance. Genomics has become an important source of drug targets and the bioinformatics industry is critical in finding new targets and validating them to minimize laboratory investments.

By providing functional information to target candidates and correlating this information with biological pathways, bio-informatics can contribute to these processes through regularly updated public databases. Bioinformatics tools can be used to understand how and how a particular compound works and help clarify a disease’s pathophysiology.

Many tools for drug discovery have been developed. BioSuite has been developed to incorporate the functions of the macromolecular sequence and structural analysis, the chemoinformatics and the algorithms used to help the discovery of drugs.

DOVIS: a utilities-based software for high-performance virtual testing using AutoDock as a molecular docking virtual testing is a major tool used to reduce the number of chemical compounds that can be examined significantly in drug discovery.

Forensic Analysis

Bioinformatics and forensic DNA are interdisciplinary and draw on statistics and computer science to deal with biological and juridical problems. The two main subjects of forensic DNA analysis are personal identification and relationships to other people.

The use of electronic laboratory information system for the logging and tracking of the large scope of samples, together with the bioinformatics tools used for the research in the DNA database, requiert management, analysis and comparison of a large number of biological samples and DNA profiles.

The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) loci Short Tandem Repeat Enhanced is followed by the use, for the determination of the presence of or absence of STR alleles in connection with samples, of bioinformatics instruments such as GeneScanTM and GenoTyperTM. Whenever the investigations of the crime scene require the identification of bacteria, insects and plants, genomic sequences can be micro-arrayed and analyzed using standard techniques of bioinformatics.

Bioinformatics tools such as CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), DNA-View, MDKAP (Mass Disaster Kinship Analysis Program), MFISys (Mass Fatality Identification System) were used for forensic analysis of World Trade Centre disaster, New York, USA, September 11, 2001. DNA database searching
bioinformatics tools have also been used for the victims of the South Asian Tsunami disaster.

Many more, cant cover it all together!

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Rajat Singh
Rajat Singh is the chief Author at Bioinformatics India, he has been writing for the past 3 years and has a special interest in SEO, Technology, Health, Life Sciences and gaming.

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