International Research Journal of Biochemistry and Bioinformatics

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Bioinformatics and applications in developing countries. Case study: Nigeria.

Abstract

Coker D O, Odofin T W, Aladele S E, Atoyebi O J

Biology is defined as the study of living things. Biologists collect and interpret data, in the course of the study. Now that we are equipped with sophisticated laboratory technology that allows us to collect data faster than we can interpret it. We have vast volumes of DNA sequence data at our fingertips. Bioinformatics determines which parts of DNA control the various chemical processes of life? How do we get and integrate (incorporate) a desired gene into a recipient? How do we get DNA sequences? The function and structure of some proteins are known, but how do we determine the function of new proteins? And how do we predict what a protein will look like, based on knowledge of its sequence? We understand the relatively simple code that translates DNA into protein. But how do we find meaningful new words in the code and add them to the DNA-protein dictionary? Bioinformatics (computational biology) is the tool that answers the questions above and other biologically related questions. This new technology makes it possible to give overwhelming interpretation to data and assign meaning where none really exists. Once we understanding and become an intelligent user of bioinformatics methods, the speed at which research progresses in Nigeria and other developing countries can be truly amazing resolving our problems on Food security-production, drug design etc. These are the more reason why the field of study (bioinformatics) must be fully embraced through capacity building of researchers. This is a window of opportunity for Nigeria to make headway- a major breakthrough in Africa in Scientific endeavors by her commitment. However, Bioinformatics and its potential seems cloudy to many researchers. Here we present a simple, easy to understand explanation of bioinformatics and its potentials in molecular biology.

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