SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data, in particular when the data sets are large and complex. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines biology, computer science, information engineering and statistics to analyze and interpret the biological data. Bioinformatics has been used for in silico analyses of biological queries using mathematical and statistical techniques. Bioinformatics includes biological studies that use computer programming as part of their methodology, as well as a specific analysis "pipelines" that are used in the field of genomics. Common uses of bioinformatics include the identification of candidates genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms; such identification is made with the aim of better understanding the genetic basis of disease, unique adaptations, desirable properties, or differences between populations. In a less formal way, bioinformatics tries to understand the organisational principles within nucleic acid and protein sequences, called proteomics.

Bioinformatics has become an important part of many areas of biology. In experimental molecular biology, bioinformatics techniques such as image and signal processing allow extraction of useful results from large amounts of raw data. In the field of genetics, it aids in annotating genomes and their observed mutations, it plays a role in the text mining of biological literature and the development of biological and gene ontologies to organize and query biological data. It plays a role in the analysis of gene and protein expression and regulation. Bioinformatics tools aid in comparing and interpreting of genetic and genomic data and more in the understanding of evolutionary aspects of molecular biology. At a more integrative level, it helps analyze and catalogue the biological pathways and networks that are an important part of systems biology. In structural biology, it aids in the simulation and modeling of DNA, RNA, proteins as well as biomolecular interactions; the term bioinformatics did not mean what it means today.

Paulien Hogeweg and Ben Hesper coined it in 1970 to refer to the study of information processes in biotic systems. This definition placed bioinformatics as a field parallel to biochemistry. Computers became essential in molecular biology when protein sequences became available after Frederick Sanger determined the sequence of insulin in the early 1950s. Comparing multiple sequences manually turned out to be impractical. A pioneer in the field was Margaret Oakley Dayhoff, she compiled one of the first protein sequence databases published as books and pioneered methods of sequence alignment and molecular evolution. Another early contributor to bioinformatics was Elvin A. Kabat, who pioneered biological sequence analysis in 1970 with his comprehensive volumes of antibody sequences released with Tai Te Wu between 1980 and 1991. To study how normal cellular activities are altered in different disease states, the biological data must be combined to form a comprehensive picture of these activities. Therefore, the field of bioinformatics has evolved such that the most pressing task now involves the analysis and interpretation of various types of data.

This includes nucleotide and amino acid sequences, protein domains, protein structures. The actual process of analyzing and interpreting data is referred to as computational biology. Important sub-disciplines within bioinformatics and computational biology include: Development and implementation of computer programs that enable efficient access to, management and use of, various types of information Development of new algorithms and statistical measures that assess relationships among members of large data sets. For example, there are methods to locate a gene within a sequence, to predict protein structure and/or function, to cluster protein sequences into families of related sequences; the primary goal of bioinformatics is to increase the understanding of biological processes. What sets it apart from other approaches, however, is its focus on developing and applying computationally intensive techniques to achieve this goal. Examples include: pattern recognition, data mining, machine learning algorithms, visualization.

Major research efforts in the field include sequence alignment, gene finding, genome assembly, drug design, drug discovery, protein structure alignment, protein structure prediction, prediction of gene expression and protein–protein interactions, genome-wide association studies, the modeling of evolution and cell division/mitosis. Bioinformatics now entails the creation and advancement of databases, algorithms and statistical techniques, theory to solve formal and practical problems arising from the management and analysis of biological data. Over the past few decades, rapid developments in genomic and other molecular research technologies and developments in information technologies have combined to produce a tremendous amount of information related to molecular biology. Bioinformatics is the name given to these mathematical and computing approaches used to glean understanding of biological processes. Common activities in bioinformatics include mapping and analyzing DNA and protein sequences, aligning DNA and protein sequences to compare them, creating and viewing 3-D models of protein structures.

Bioinformatics is a science field, similar to but distinct from biological computation, while it is considered synonymous to computational biology. Biological computation uses bioengineering and biology to build biological computers, whereas bioinformatics uses c

Ali ibn Maymun

ʿAlī ibn Maymūn ibn abī bakr al-idrīsī al-mag̲h̲ribī known as Shaykh'Ali ibn Maymun, was a Moroccan ālim and Sufi mystic of Berber origin, but he pretended to be from an Alid origin, which increased his reputation. He was born in the region of Ghumara around 1450, he studied Islamic sciences locally in Fez, from 1471, he held the office of qāḍī in Chefchaouen for a period of ten years. In his youth he is said to have been the amīr of the Banu Rashid tribe in the Jabal Ghumara, but to have relinquished that position because he was unable to enforce among his people the prohibition on wine-drinking. In 901/1495-6 he left Fez, visited Damascus, Mecca and Brusa, settled at Damascus where he died in 917/1511, his mysticism was of a moderate character. He wrote this work at an advanced age

Carbonemys

Carbonemys cofrinii is an extinct podocnemidid turtle known from the Middle Paleocene Cerrejón Formation of the Cesar-Ranchería Basin in northeastern Colombia. The formation is dated at around 60 to 58 million years ago, starting at about five million years after the KT extinction event. In 2005, the holotype specimen was discovered in the Cerrejón coal mine by a North Carolina State University doctoral student named Edwin Cadena, it had a shell. The jaws of Carbonemys were massive and would be powerful enough to eat crocodilians, that were abundant in the first neotropical forest of the Cerrejón Formation; this turtle coexisted with the giant boid, Titanoboa