Bioinformatics is the field of science in which biology, computer science, and information technology merge into a single discipline. The goal of the field is to enable the discovery of new biological insights as well as to create a global perspective from which unifying principles in biology can be discerned.
Bioinformatics can be thought of as consisting of two main interdisciplinary sub-fields:
- the research and development work required to build the software and database infrastructure
- the computational-based research devoted to understanding and solving biological question
SBC’s Bioinformatics Programme aims to provide SBC with the IT infrastructure for bioinformatics research, database storage and maintenance and also to fulfill SBC's statutory function to maintain records of and databases for biological resources found in the State.
The objectives of this programme are to:
- develop integrated database system to maintain, retrieve, and analyze biological information to assist in research and development programmes
- develop a distributed traditional knowledge database application to maintain and retrieve traditional knowledge-related data from various communities
- provide a secure, reliable and scalable management and coordinated access to biological data
The main output will be a Bioinformatics Data Centre for biodiversity or biological resources databases, research and development; a natural product library and inventory system; traditional knowledge databases on the State's indigenous communities. The Centre will feature:
- High-capacity, high-speed and dynamic data storage and retrieval centre for biodiversity and biological databases, biotechnology and bioinformatics research and development
- Integrated database system from taxonomy to traditional knowledge to natural product library
- Distributed database application for traditional knowledge documentation
- Websites on indigenous communities: their heritage and traditional knowledge
It is envisioned that the Bioinformatics Programme will bring about faster retrieval, accurate and up-to-date information on biodiversity and biological resources for input in the State's decision making process and facilitate in the exchange of materials/information between government agencies and other similar international institutions.