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{bio,medical} informatics

Sunday, May 14, 2000

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Nature Science's neglected databases
"This week's web feature highlights a commentary article in which Maurer et al review the main databases of science and discuss the maintenance and funding of these increasingly important resources.

Databases underpin most endeavours of scientific research, but they tend not to be given high priority by funders. Some have been kept going by committed individuals or small groups, but in too many cases vital information has been lost completely. Not so long ago databases were relatively small, but now large, electronically searchable, complex databases have become essential to progress in many fields. Maurer et al suggest ways by which the scientific community should act so that essential information can be captured and used for future research and development.

The web feature is enhanced with related content from Nature's own online database of past content. This includes a briefing by Tony Reichhardt which looks at how databases are helping scientists deal with the flood of data that many current research projects are producing."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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