The Prefix- and -Suffix of Bioinformatics: Bio- and -Omics

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The Prefix- and -Suffix of bioinformatics: Bio- and -Omics

Jong Bhak
KOBIC (Korean Bioinformation Center)
Daejeon, Korea

Effectively, bioinformatics was born at around 1995 when Internet started to connect biologists and bioinformatists in the world with huge amount of data pouring in. That was the year the first complete bacterial genomes were announced. Around then, DNA chip data were introduced. Researchers started having major bioinformatics conferences and training sessions.

Since then, there have been various conceptual plans for organiziing exploding field of bioinformatics.

There have been two major diversification paths appeared in the development of bioinformatics in terms of project concepts and organization. One is that various bioinformatics and biology researchers independently coined the term -omics. 
This was at the level of science, especially biology.
This was often done by researchers who have taken up the largescale data analysis and holistic way of solving bio-problems. However, the flood of such omics trend did not occur until late 1990s. Until that time, it was by relatively small number of informatically advanced people in Europe and USA. They include MRC Cambridge, Sanger centre, EBI, EMBL, Harvard, Stanford and so on.
We could clearly see some people took up the -omics suffix very quickly while some others hated the trend. The people who took up quickly were often young and technically advanced geeks(hackers) in biology. 

The other trend was at the level of technology. This was more practical. They often used the prefix Bio- to various technological and scientific projects or subfields. One of the earlist and most successful one was Bioperl.

Omics | Bioproject



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