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European Biopharmaceutical Review

External Solutions Help Organisations Meet Bioinformatics Needs

Biotechnology has entered the information age with a vengeance. Molecular biology research, robotic lab equipment, and computers have all been brought together and the results have far exceeded anyone's expectations. Spurred by the desire to sequence the human genome, the amount of biological data now available for life science research continues to grow exponentially as innovative high-throughput methods gain acceptance and increased laboratory use. As a result, database sizes are quickly moving from gigabyte to terabyte to even petabyte levels. Augmented by the completion of a draft of the human genome, as of September 2001, GenBank, the public nucleic acid sequence database maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), contains over 13 billion base pairs. Academic, government, and privately funded research teams are generating huge databases containing related biological information such as expressed sequence tag (EST), gene expression, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), and protein:protein interaction data. By itself, the microarray technology used in gene expression experiments can produce a single chip with information for thousands of genes.


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By Pam Hudson, Marketing Communications Specialist for Accelrys Inc. Pam Hudson is a Marketing Communications Specialist for Accelrys Inc., a subsidiary of Pharmacopeia Inc. and a provider of software solutions for bioinformatics, cheminformatics, and modelling for the life and materials sciences. Pam has over 15 years of experience as a technical communicator.
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