What is Bioinformatics?

The term “bioinformatics” has be defined in many different ways since its first use more than 20 years ago. However, the interdisciplinary application of computers to biological data has always been part of the definition. Here is a small collection of (short) answers to the question “What is bioinformatics?”:

“Research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data.” – NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative (2000)

“Bioinformatics is the application of computer technology to the management of biological information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development.” – bioplanet.com (2001?)

“Bioinformatics is the application of statistics and computer science to the field of molecular biology. It includes computational biology, algorithm development, statistics techniques, data modeling and visualization.” – Owen White (2010)

“Bioinformatics is a science where we integrate computer science, genetics and genomics.” – Atul Butte (2010)

“Bioinformatics is the application of computer science and information technology to the field of biology and medicine.” – wikipedia.org (2012)

For a more detailed definition of the term bioinformatics, take a look at the list provided by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) or the Bioinformatics FAQ at Bioinformatics.org.