Cover of the "Science" magazine from 2/16/2001
Cover of the "Nature" magazine from 2/15/2001
Researchers in Bioinformatics develop algorithms and software for simulations of biochemical processes and the analysis of molecular biology data.
The publication of the human genome sequence in February 2001 is considered to be a milestone of scientific research. This is reflected in the reaction of the media and the public. Bioinformatics tools were quintessential for this achievement.
"Unravelling the three billion or so base pairs of our entire DNA has been compared with landing on the Moon, splitting the atom and even inventing the wheel."
Nature, February 2001
Still bigger challenges lie ahead of us: genes must be identified and their function determined. An understanding of the interplay of the gene products will be the basis for the development of future pharmaceutical treatments. These tasks exceed the mere assembly of the DNA-sequence by far. Bioinformatics provides decisive contributions to tackle these challenges.
"[...the publication of] the human genome sequence is likely to be greeted with the same awestruck feeling that accompanied the landing of the first human on the moon [...]"
Science, February 2001
The following pages provide a detailed overview of the tasks and goals of Bioinformatics on the stages on the way from genome to drug.