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How (and why!) are biological datasets/systems analysed?

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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How (and why!) are biological datasets/systems analysed?

Postby jaybee99 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:56 am

Hi everyone. I'm someone with no training in Biology, applying for a IT post in a genomics/proteomics lab. It's a software job, not a post for a biologist, but I'm expected to demonstrate an understanding in how biological datasets and systems are analysed -- I suppose this means everything from the software that might be used, the techniques employed, the goals of the analysis in the first place. Can you tell me how and where I can research this, in a high-level way? I've got no intention of pretending to know more than I do, but I'd like to be able to answer these questions in a general way (and I know they may be too vague to be given a meaningful answer yet):

* what kind of datasets are used in genomic/proteomic research?
* what kind of relationships/patterns are researchers looking for in the data?
* what kinds of tools and forms of analysis are used to identify those results?
* what are the ways of visualising the results?

Thanks!
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Postby JackBean » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:50 pm

first, you should look into some biochem/molbio book to even understand to the basics of the life. Second, you should look for some book or course or whatever covering bioinformatics, because your questions are too wide and can be answered in several ways dependent on what is purpose of your analysis.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby jaybee99 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:32 pm

Thanks for your reply. Yes, sorry for the hopelessly vague questions...I was given a pointer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatics which looks like a helpful starting point.
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Postby JackBean » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:39 am

well, not ideal, but if you do not have anything better...
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby jaybee99 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:52 pm

I may not have made it clear that I was looking for an introduction suitable for a layperson. In the end I got quite a wide variety of links by asking here: http://www.reddit.com/r/biology/comment ... tssystems/
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Postby JackBean » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:18 pm

sorry, but those links are little bit useless, if you know nothing about the bioinformatics (like the page on Wiki about interactomics :roll:), you need to start from the beginning, not reading manuals of complete tools. Also, as I already said, if you do not know biology/biochemistry/molecular biology, how do you want to do BIOinformatics? :roll:
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby jaybee99 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:26 pm

I'm well aware that If I wanted "do" Bioinformatics, I would have a long road ahead of me, and I'd probably start out by undertaking a Batchelors degree in a related discipline, rather than asking questions on the web. Like I said, I'm applying for a job in IT. If they were looking for a bioinformatician, I wouldn't waste my time applying. I'm a software engineer, and I wanted to find out something, in general terms, about their field.
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Postby JackBean » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:12 pm

I'm not telling you to study bioinformatics, but if you're supposed to do something related to biology, you should understand what and WHY are you doing that. And just by being expert in IT you won't be able to uncover all the tricks and problems.
Anyway, you should rather start with some general bioinformatics rather then tools' how-to
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby jaybee99 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:43 pm

As you can see, the responses I got included links to open courseware and several introductory summaries. They were quite a bit more helpful than your suggestion that I "look for some book or course". Thanks for the input.
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Postby JackBean » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:18 am

if you think so... but you didn't provide any information like where you from...
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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