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{bio,medical} informatics

Saturday, November 30, 2002

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find related articles. powered by google. Bio-IT World The Business of Bioinformatics

"Bioinformatics as a business, not to be confused with bioinformatics as a field of study, is at an interesting crossroads. As an academic branch of learning, bioinformatics remains mostly what it always was -- a cross-disciplinary endeavor between computer science and molecular biology. But bioinformatics as a money-making proposition has different criteria for success, and it has received a lot of bad press lately, some of it deserved."

"During this golden age, bioinformaticists developed software that computational biologists could use to make biological discoveries based on genomic data. But the industry swerved off course by selling expensive systems that focused on the individual pieces of a solution, without heeding downstream processes that were the actual bread-and-butter of our customers. Bioinformatics has always been about integrating data and converting it into information. When it loses that focus, it loses its value to the customer."

redux [11.05.02]
find related articles. powered by google. The New York Times Companies That Seek Cures Now Fight for Life
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"The biotechnology industry is facing one of its worst financial squeezes ever. The prices of many biotechnology stocks have plummeted, and Wall Street's vaults have snapped nearly shut, making it almost impossible for capital-hungry companies to finance themselves."

"Another sector that has suffered is bioinformatics, which uses computers to analyze masses of genetic data. Several young companies have gone out of business or been acquired for a pittance after sales did not meet expectations."

find related articles. powered by google. Genomweb Facing Capital Crunch, Biopharmas Rejigger R&D Spending

"R&D spending among some of the biggest biotech and pharma consumers will grow at a much slower clip as Wall Street applies pressure to curb losses and bolster earnings, according to the report by the investment bank Stephens. Plus, what little cash that is allotted for new drug-discovery technology will likely go to later-stage tools.

"What is disturbing regarding the tools companies, is that not only are you having an absolute slowing in the growth rate of R&D spending, you're also having within that spending more emphasis on molecules already in clinical trials," study author John Sullivan told GenomeWeb in a recent interview. "If something's in clinical trials, there's not more tool spending.""

redux [03.14.01]
find related articles. powered by google. ABCNews.Com The Next Bubble: Is Bioinformatics the Next Big Boom...and Bust?

"The story proclaimed in its lead, "Move over Information Age. Make room for the age of bioinformation." You could picture bleary eyes opening all over the Bay Area. The story went on to note that a San Jose consulting firm was predicting a 10 percent annual growth in the bioinformatics market for years to come; and that the National Science Foundation estimated that 20,000 new jobs in the field would be created in the field in just the next four years.

If that wasn't enough, the rest of the section was filled with page after page of biotech firms listing job openings - in powerful juxtaposition to the endless lists of dot-com layoffs just a few pages earlier. Picture Starbucks spit-takes from Marin to Santa Cruz.

Wow! Rewrite that resum to emphasize that biology course you took in college. Roll your Aeron chair down to the nearest lab. Trade that black turtleneck for a white lab coat..."

[ 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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