Monday, March 05, 2007

Bioinformatics and google

First of all, I am not a bioinformatician. I even thought I had an idea of what is the aim of bioinformatics but after a visit to the group of Nuria Lopez Bigas at the Biomedical Research Parc in Barcelona I realised that the scope of what I thought the field is about was too narrow (they do some nice machine learning and statistical work on disease related genes).

I have seen this video on Google video (only one of these sites that allows the user to download the video for offline use) some time this weekend. It is just a talk by David Vise, the author of a book about Google, to staff at Google Inc. Google is one company that fascinates (and in a sense, worries) me tremendously. As a side note, this blog is posted in one of their servers.

The thing is that at the end of the talk, David mentions the interests of one of Google founders (I think it is Larry Page) on biology. Then I thought (and I am sure that I will be the last of a long list of people) that, wow, that is really a good match: google and bioinformatics. Biology until know was mostly a science in which practitioners collected facts. There is loads of data and little idea of how to make sense of it, asides from evolution and a few other very general ideas. One of the aims of google is precisely to find patterns in the zitabytes of information stored in their servers. I have the feeling that we will see more of Google in that field.
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