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Posts tagged ‘bioinformatics’

New tools help show what genes do

To understand the roles of different genes, Dr James Brown and colleagues at the MRC Harwell Institute are part of a project trying to find out what every single mouse gene does. To help speed things along, they have developed new software to analyse images of mouse embryos.

black mouse
Our 20,000 genes provide the instructions for everything our body does. But we don’t yet know what each one is responsible for. We share 90 percent of our genes with mice so finding out their ‘function’ could help us understand more about human disease. Read more

A new informatics institute: who, what, why?

We’ve just launched our search for a Director to run our new UK Institute for Health and Biomedical Informatics Research. Rhoswyn Walker, our Head of Informatics Research, tells us about the new institute.
Graphic representing different types of data

Let’s start at the beginning… What is informatics?

There are many definitions but broadly, informatics is the use of maths, statistics and computer science to get answers from large, complex datasets. Datasets in health and biomedical research come from lots of different sources so the institute will work with biological, clinical, social and environmental data. Researchers will also use emerging forms of data like that from wearable technology. Read more

Working Life: computational biologist Dr Shamith Samarajiwa

Dr Shamith Samarajiwa’s computational biology group is the newest team at the MRC Cancer Unit. His group develops multi-disciplinary data science, data engineering and computational biology solutions to understand the complex biological systems involved in carcinogenesis. 

Dr Shamith Samarajiwa

Dr Shamith Samarajiwa (Copyright: Johannes Hjorth)

Career in brief

This is an exciting time to be dealing with biomedical data. In a world poised and waiting for personalised medicine, computational biology will help us to detect cancer sooner by realising the potential of big datasets. There are millions of datasets already out there but these are completely underutilised. Read more