Stein Gives Bioinformatics Ten Years to Live
Subject:   longevity of bioinformatics
Date:   2009-09-26 05:59:58
From:   YangHai
Response to: longevity of bioinformatics

Thank you, Mr. Bug for your insight on this topic. As a prospective graduate student in the field of Bioinformatics, I find your critique to be absolutely necessary for this subject. I came across this topic as I was researching the field of Bioinformatics and was shocked at the title, so I dug in some more. Since this isn't an actual scientific article or journal, I knew not to take it too seriously, as most of these articles are published for shock-value to fit in with the mainstream media of today, since that is the only thing that seems to reach "news", nowadays.

I have a bachelors degree in biology with a minor in chemistry and have worked in various industries as a Microbiologist, a QC Chemist, a Validation Consultant, and am currently working as an Associate Technologist in a very successful Medical Laboratory. As for my opinion on the field of bioinformatics magically 'disappearing' in 10 years, I believe this is quite a dangerous statement to be making. It was very discouraging for me to see at first, until I read the article and thought about it, rationally. As far as comparing the discipline of bioinformatics to a 'tool' such as a hammer or a microscope, I do not believe this comparison is valid. The credibility may come in the fact that bioinformatics may be diminishing in ONE aspect of the field of genomics - as we have mapped out most of the genomic sequences in humans and many animals. However, mapping out genomic sequences is just the tip of the iceberg in scientific discoveries.

Bioinformatics will continue to grow as new technologies and research is developed. We cannot assume that we know everything now that we will in the future. That is what the purpose of research and discovery is. Saying that bioinformatics will be gone by 2012 is like saying that no further discoveries will be made in the field of science.

As we grow more and more technologically developed, the field of bioinformatics will expand to fit these demands. We are relying less and less on paper and more on large databases and softwares that interface with machines. For example, at the company I currently work for, we are using top of the line equipment to do tests in the fields of hematology, microbiology, chemistry, toxicology, and etc. All these machines are interfaced to a computer and all these computers are lined with software that is constantly being updated as new developments are made in the field of informatics/bioinformatics. We use computers now as our 'Quality Control Officers' rather than relying on tedious number crunching of countless data - a computer does this much faster.

As far as I can see, having worked in the field, and explored the job market in the life science field extensively, there is no shortage of demand for Bioinformatics, in fact it is quite the opposite.

Thank you,

Hai Yang

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  • longevity of bioinformatics (cont'd)
    2009-09-26 07:55:07  YangHai [View]

    To elaborate, if the synergy between computer science/informatics and biology did not exist, we would never have mapped out the genomic sequence in the time that we did. Just because we have accomplished one task does not mean we should so easily discard the discipline and field that got us there. As I realize this article is a bit out dated and we have all come to realize that Bioinformatics is not going to just disappear. Fields and disciplines like this may lay dormant for a while, but they never truly disappear. It had a fast growth at first due to the tedious nature of its origins, but its potential has just begun to be dived into.

    Since the time this article was written until now, we have seen an increase in the field of Biomedical Engineering as well as many other advances in the life science industry. High-throughput machines are on the rise, and with it comes extensive data to be analyzed. Bioinformatics rises with the call and demand of its parent discipline: Science.

    Hai Yang
    Indianapolis, IN