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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, June 12, 2000

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Infoworld SAS helps scientists decipher human genetic code
"WHEN HUMAN GENOME Project (HGP) statisticians were looking for a way to mine billions of bases on the human genetic code and find out which ones cause certain diseases, they turned to SAS Institute and its Enterprise Miner for help."

"In particular, scientists are using features such as SEMMA (Sample, Explore, Modify, Model, Assess), a built-in guide to help extract data, and decision-tree analysis of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), genetic markers on the human genome. The data must be managed in a way to keep it logically structured and capable of being easily matched and organized. Enterprise Miner's decision-tree analysis creates a graphical representation of the data, making it easier to see where all the data fits phenotypically.

To further aid HGP scientists, SAS Institute has developed several features specifically for mining genomic data, providing a filter for false alarms, or "noise" of SNPs that may look like they are markers signaling an abnormality but really aren't. The company also has provided a tool that looks at how different markers relate to each other, and a tool that helps factor in family history patterns. "
iBiomatics SAS Spins Off New B2B Internet Company for Biomedical Research
""Packaging and delivering research information over the Internet changes the structure of biotechnology and drug development," says Lee Evans, president of iBiomatics and previous executive director of SAS PharmaHealth Technologies. "For the first time, research organizations of all sizes will have access to biomedical information through a Web browser. They can focus on scientific research, and iBiomatics will deliver, leverage and add value to their information."

""Since information is now the primary catalyst and currency of any marketplace, we believe that the growth of other markets will pale in comparison to that of bioinformatics over the next decade," says Doug Laney, vice president of the META Group, an IT advisory services firm. "The forthcoming deluge of information from unraveling the genome, matched with the accessible analytic output from collaborative biomedical research ventures like iBiomatics, will enable unfathomable advances in life sciences and spawn countless ancillary industries." "

redux [05.23.00]
The Standard DNA Detectives
"For all the "brave new world" rhetoric surrounding the recent rapid advances in genetics, scientists are only on the threshold of understanding how genes work and their role in health and disease.

So too are the DNA dot-coms in their search for success. By combining strains of Wall Street's two favorite industries of the moment – biotech and the Internet – online genomics companies have reaped valuations last seen by Net companies circa 1999. "You take the two great buzzwords, 'genome' and 'Internet,' put them together and someone will throw money at them..."

"But the rush to go public has made the DNA dot-coms vulnerable to the volatility that seems to strike biotech and Net startups particularly hard. "

[ 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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