BIOINFORMATICS’S ORIGIN AND ITS IMPACTS
There was a time when humans are treated with herbals and green medicines. And there were no such proper treatments to cure the diseases specially genetic diseases were thought to be impossible to treat even now there’re some diseases which cannot be cured. But with the advancements of computer sciences and biology combined we have developed advanced treatments to cure many diseases. Bioinformatics tends to collect and analyze the biological data, interpret that data and develop the new techniques and methods.
Over a century ago, bioinformatics history started with an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel. He is known as the “Father of Genetics”. He cross-fertilized different colors of the same species of flowers. He kept careful records of the colors of flowers that he cross-fertilized and the color(s) of flowers they produced. Mendel illustrated that the inheritance of traits could be more easily explained if it was controlled by factors passed down from generation to generation.
Since Mendel, bioinformatics and genetic record keeping have come a long way. The understanding of genetics has advanced remarkably in the last thirty years. In 1972, Paul berg made the first recombinant DNA molecule using ligase. In that same year, Stanley Cohen, Annie Chang and Herbert Boyer produced the first recombinant DNA organism. In 1973, two important things happened in the field of genomics:
1. Joseph Sambrook led a team that refined DNA electrophoresis using agarose gel, and
2. Herbert Boyer and Stanely Cohen invented DNA cloning. By 1977, a method for sequencing DNA was discovered and the first genetic engineering company, Genetech was founded.
By 1981, 579 human genes had been mapped and mapping by insitu hybridization had become a standard method. Marvin Carruthers and Leory Hood made a huge leap in bioinformatics when they invented a mehtod for automated DNA sequencing. In 1988, the Human Genome organization (HUGO) was founded. This is an international organization of scientists involved in Human Genome Project. In 1989, the first complete genome map was published of the bacteria Haemophilus influenza.
The following year, the Human Genome Project was started. By 1991, a total of 1879 human genes had been mapped. In 1993, Genethon, a human genome research center in France Produced a physical map of the human genome. Three years later, Genethon published the final version of the Human Genetic Map. This concluded the end of the first phase of the Human Genome Project.
In the mid-1970s, it would take a laboratory at least two months to sequence 150 nucleotides. Ten years ago, the only way to track genes was to scour large, well documented family trees of relatively inbred populations, such as the Ashkenzai Jews from Europez. These types of genealogical searches 11 million nucleotides a day for its corporate clients and company research.
Bioinformatics was fueled by the need to create huge databases, such as GenBank and EMBL and DNA Database of Japan to store and compare the DNA sequence data erupting from the human genome and other genome sequencing projects. Today, bioinformatics embraces protein structure analysis, gene and protein functional information, data from patients, pre-clinical and clinical trials, and the metabolic pathways of numerous species.
Bioinformatics is advancing its roots in genetics, proteomics, AI & machine learning and molecular biology. Bioinformatics approaches are used to understand the function of genes, the regulation of cells, drug target selection, drug design, and disease. Without quantitative analysis of the massive amounts of biological data generated by various systems, biology and genomics data cannot be interpreted or exploited.
Large commercial enterprises such as pharmaceutical companies employ bioinformaticians to perform and maintain the large scale and complicated bioinformatic needs of these industries. With an ever-increasing need for constant input from bioinformatic experts, most biomedical laboratories may soon have their own in-house bioinformatician. The individual researcher, beyond a basic acquisition and analysis of simple data, would certainly need external bioinformatic advice for any complex analysis.
The growth of bioinformatics has been a global venture, creating computer networks that have allowed easy access to biological data and enabled the development of software programs for effortless analysis. Multiple international projects aimed at providing gene and protein databases are available freely to the whole scientific community via the Internet.