A bioinformatics scientist is someone who applies information technology and computer science into the area of biology. This is done for the purpose of studying, analyzing, and processing genomic information as well as other forms of biological information. These scientists use the theory of bioinformatics to research and generate previously unknown knowledge about various biological informational topics as well as develop the computational means to get that knowledge.
Biological procedures have become so complex that the collection, storage, and management of biological data has become paramount to understanding those complexities. Scientists in the bioinformatics field and the work they do are extremely crucial if the world is going to advance its knowledge of the biological sciences.
What does a Bioinformatics Scientist do?
Bioinformatics scientists study and dissect large amounts of datasets at the molecular level such as proteomics, raw micro array, and genomic sequence data. They also manipulate databases that are commercially or publicly accessible, which contain genomic and post genomic data. They design and update any web-based informatics tools they may need. They will also change existing software applications to fit the needs of any projects they may be working on, and, if necessary, create a whole new software application for the job.
Bioinformatics scientists often have to come up with creative means both analytically and computationally to solve many biological mysteries in order to meet research goals. They typically work with other biologists and software engineers to develop biological databases in order to decipher all the information they have collected. Together they troubleshoot any errors that occur and determine the next best course of action. Bioinformatics scientists also consult with other laboratory scientists to design bioinformatics efforts that may be of value to the health or pharmaceutical industries.
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What is the workplace of a Bioinformatics Scientist like?
Bioinformatics scientists may work either in an industrial, laboratory, or college classroom setting. They may work individually or in groups depending on the project. Inside work is typically air conditioned, quiet, and well lit. Those working for the government or private sector labs usually work Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week, while those working at universities or colleges may have varying hours.
Bioinformatics scientists working in a lab will typically spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen and looking into a microscope, and they will be required to wear special clothing while in a dust-free environment. Scientists will also be required to wear special protective clothing when dealing with corrosive or poisonous chemicals and infectious organisms.