Honors Biology B
March 21, 2011
Bioinformatics Research Paper
Bioinformatics is a fairly recent field of science. It is the usage of computers to analyze, process, and manipulate biological information. Scientists use bioinformatics to more fully understand the human genome. The human genome project deals with the mapping and sequencing of all the base pairs in a human’s DNA strand. According to scientists, bioinformatics can “tell the future” of future children; whether they shall be born normally or with a birth defect. Some opponents say the usage of bioinformatics is unethical if parents use knowledge for the future child to interfere with their genetic sequence. Bioinformatics is useful to scientists who study genetics and DNA structure.
The process of bioinformatics is a long and complex. In genetic therapy, scientists must be able to analyze the DNA of the biological organism. From there, scientists must splice the gene and find what is wrong with that DNA strand or gene. For gene therapy to be effective, scientists must splice the mutated gene and create a healthy gene. Through gene therapy, it “introduces a new gene into the body to help fight a disease” (What). In the Human Genome Project, the process is much longer than gene therapy. First, scientists must extract the DNA and identify the chromosomes. After identifying the chromosomes, they have to follow through with the “sub-cloning step”. They are breaking down the chromosomes into smaller and more broken up pieces. The fragments are then placed in a gel electrophoresis state to separate the lengths of the fragments. Scientists dye the fragments to be able to see them in the gel. The next step is called the base-calling step. “The final base at the end of each fragment is identified. This process recreates the original sequence of A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s for each short piece generated in the first step” (Biological). Computer are then used to...