Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that deals with the science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data. It can be considered as a combination of biology, computer science, mathematics, and statistics. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a new facet of computer science which deals with the creation of intelligent machines. Well, Machine Learning is one of the most important aspects of artificial intelligence. It refers to the ability of the machine to learn without any human supervision.
Bioinformatics is an amalgamation of biology and information technology, which uses software to link biological data with techniques for information storage, distribution and analysis to support multiple areas of scientific research, including biomedicine.
Artificial Intelligence has found increasing applications in the field of bioinformatics. Machine Learning is a very powerful tool in bioinformatics which is highly useful in the prediction and pattern detection based on large datasets.
Common Applications of AI in Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics involves the collection, organization, and analysis of a huge amount of biological data. Handling of such a huge amount of data is beyond human beings and AI can help us to a great extent in this voluminous work. The following are some of the fields in Bioinformatics where AI usage is of great value.
DNA sequencing is the process of determining the order of the four nucleotides – Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, and Cytosine in the DNA. Each organism has its own specific nucleotide base sequence. Although the double helix nature of the DNA was discovered long back in 1953, it was not possible to carry out complete DNA sequencing considering the huge data crunching involved. This was made possible by the advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the associated data handling ability. Using these advancements, the mapping of the human genome was completed in 2003. The DNA sequencing has also brought forth a new discipline called pharmacogenomics which is leading the way to more personalized medicines.
Machine Learning in Biology
Presently a large list of bioinformatics tools and softwares are available which are based on machine learning. The twin of Bioinformatics, called Computational Biology have emerged largely into development of softwares and application using machine learning and deep learning techniques for biological image data analysis.
According to the Science news, biologist are increasingly turning into Data Scientist as Bioinformatics Data Scientist or Genomic Data Scientist. The market of bioinformatics and career needs in bioinformatics is increasing each year. It is predicted that in the near future, there will be a huge need for people having bioinformatics skills.