Fred J Tekaia at the Institute Pasteur offers this definition of Bio-Informatics:
"The mathematical, statistical and computing methods that aim to solve biological problems using DNA and amino acid sequences and related information".
2. The Loose Definition
Richard Durbin, Head of Informatics at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute , expressed an interesting opinion:
"I do not think all biological computing is Bio-Informatics, e.g. mathematical modeling is not Bio-Informatics, even when connected with biology-related problems. In my opinion, Bio-Informatics has to do with management and the subsequent use of biological information, particular genetic information."
3. Organization / Committee Of Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics definition by bioinformatics definition Committee, National Institute of Mental Health released on July 17, 2000 (source: http://www.bisti.nih.gov/ )
The NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative Consortium agreed on the following definitions of Bio-Informatics and computational biology recognizing that no definition could completely eliminate overlap with other activities or preclude variations in interpretation by different individuals and organizations.
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.
The development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavioral, and social systems.
4. National Center for Biotechnology Info.
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI 2001) defines bioinformatics as:
"Bio-Informatics is the field of science in which biology, computer science, and information technology merge into a single discipline.There are three important sub-disciplines within bio-informatics:
The development of new algorithms and statistics with which to assess relationships among members of large data sets
The analysis and interpretation of various types of data including nucleotide and amino acid sequences, protein domains, and protein structures
The development and implementation of tools that enable efficient access and management of different types of information"
5. Oxford English Dictionary:
(Molecular) Bio-Informatics: Bio-Informatics is conceptualizing biology in terms of molecules (in the sense of Physical chemistry) and applying informatics techniques(derived from disciplines such as applied maths, computer science and statistics) to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale. In short, bioinformatics is a management information system for molecular biology and has many practical applications.
Confusion over the Definition of "BioInformatics"
An issue that regularly pops up is the definition of bioinformatics, particularly from individuals who are trying to get into the field. Most lament that there are too many definitions of bioinformatics.
This should be taken as an indication of the ubiquity of the subject. Bioinformatics, as both an enabling and enabled technology, will be defined differently depending on the domain of the person who is giving the definition. A computer scientist will give one definition, a biologist another, a biotechnologist yet another, and an individual from a pharmaceutical company will provide yet another definition.Each definition is as good as the other. This is just the nature of the beast.