What is bioinformatics?
Bioinformatics is the use of computers and maths to help make sense of the huge amounts of data that are produced from biology and gene research projects. It allows a massive amount of data to be used, searched and interpreted quickly.
Bioinformatics takes the research data and analyses it so that is can be applied to everyday life. Bioinformatics can be used to develop new treatments, new problem-solving tools and provide a better understanding of disease.
Some of the biggest drug firms such as SmithKline Beecham, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Glaxo Wellcome are now hiring bioinformatics experts. With smaller firms also requiring staff, this area might provide the opportunity that many young scientists are looking for.
Where to from here?
If you're keen on the classic disciplines of maths, computer science and biology then this new field could be ideal for you. This field is so new that many people now working in bioinformatics started off by doing others jobs such as computer programming or biology, and then moved into bioinformatics. Some universities in Australia are now offering courses in bioinformatics, so if you're interested in a career in this area, make sure you check out what they have to offer.