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  Health informatics

Health informatics is a scientific discipline that deals with the collection, storage, retrieval, communication and optimal use of health related data, information and knowledge. The discipline utilizes the methods and technologies of the information sciences for the purposes of problem solving and decision-making thus assuring quality healthcare in all basic and applied areas of biomedical sciences.


Research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data. (NIH definition )

Bioinformatics derives knowledge from computer analysis of biological data. These can consist of the information stored in the genetic code, but also experimental results from various sources, patient statistics, and scientific literature. Research in bioinformatics includes method development for storage, retrieval, and analysis of the data. Bioinformatics is a rapidly developing branch of biology and is highly interdisciplinary, using techniques and concepts from informatics, statistics, mathematics, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and linguistics. It has many practical applications in different areas of biology and medicine. (Pasteur Institute)

  Computational Biology

The development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavioral, and social systems. (NIH definition)


Genomics - the branch of genetics that studies organisms in terms of their genomes (their full DNA sequences.) The goal of Genomics is to determine the complete DNA sequence for all the genetic material contained in an organism's complete genome.

Structural Genomics - the branch of genomics that determines the three-dimensional structures of proteins. Structural Genomics is the systematic effort to gain a complete structural description of a defined set of molecules, ultimately for an organism’s entire proteome. Structural genomics projects apply X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy in a high-throughput manner.

Functional genomics - the branch of genomics that determines the biological function of the genes and their products. Functional genomics (sometimes referred to as functional proteomics) aims at determining the function of the proteome (the protein complement encoded by an organism's entire genome). It expands the scope of biological investigation from studying single genes or proteins to studying all genes or proteins at once in a systematic fashion, using large-scale experimental methodologies combined with statistical analysis of the results.


Proteomics - the branch of genetics that studies the full set of proteins encoded by a genome. Proteomics aims at quantifying the expression levels of the complete protein complement (the proteome) in a cell at any given time. While proteomics research was initially focused on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis for protein separation and identification, proteomics now refers to any procedure that characterizes the function of large sets of proteins. It is thus often used as a synonym for functional genomics.

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