The need to turn raw data into knowledge has led the bioinformatics field to focus increasingly on the manipulation of information. By drawing parallels with both cryptography and artificial intelligence, we can develop an understanding of the changes that are occurring in bioinformatics, and how these changes are likely to influence the bioinformatics job market.
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The explanatory notes accompanying a database entry that describe, for example, the function of a protein (either determined experimentally, or by the predictions of bioinformatics algorithms), bibliographic references and links to other databases.
The practise and study of encryption and decryption: encoding data so that it can only be decoded by specific individuals.
- MACHINE TRANSLATION
The use of computers to provide automatic translation from one natural language to another.
A machine-readable representation of complex information that can be manipulated by a computer program.
- REASONING ENGINE
The software required to form logical relationships between entries in an ontology and to make deductions about them.
The meaning of a fragment of language (as opposed to syntax, which describes how symbols in that language might be legitimately combined, independent of their meaning). The distinction between syntax and semantics allows linguists to deal with sentences such as 'colourless green ideas sleep furiously', which are syntactically correct, but meaningless.
An entity represented in such a way that a computer program can manipulate it. This might be a word, such as 'cat' or 'dog', a node in a graph or an entry in a database. Because they 'stand for' something else, such representations are referred to as symbols and the programs that deal with them do so by a process of 'symbol manipulation'.
A predefined set of keywords and terms used, for instance, to annotate a database.
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Miller, C., Attwood, T. Bioinformatics goes back to the future. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 4, 157–162 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrm1013