SHELTERING FROM AVALANCHES OF BIOLOGICAL DATA: A NEW RESEARCH DIMENSION IN THE POST-GENOMICS ERA

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Neri Niccolai *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Neri Niccolai | office@pagepress.org

Abstract

Biomedical research in the Post-genomic Era is characterized by huge amounts of data which cannot be manually analyzed soon after their collection, but only stored in data banks for further investigations. Thus, many data banks have been created to keep some order for results obtained from high throughput techniques applied to genomics or to other “omics” studies. Some order is also needed to browse fruitfully biological data among all the available databanks. National Center for Biotechnology Information of USA offers to researchers a powerful interface to achieve this effort, but in a way that is not suitable for the public perception. A Google Earth kind of software would help to sail safely within this data ocean to specific pieces of information, as required both by researchers and by just curious people. Bioinformatics, a new interdisciplinary field that develops and improves on methods for storing, retrieving, organizing and analyzing biological data, is emerging as a powerful tool to derive novel perspective of biological processes. In our laboratory, for instance, scanning the Protein Data Bank to analyze amino acids distribution inside protein structures, new scenarios appeared which can account for long distance protein-protein interactions.

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