Biologists and statisticians are working together more closely than ever to extract meaningful information from experiments that generate huge amounts of data. The disparate disciplines have different languages, often with conflicting terminology. Bioinformatics is the collective integration of biological data and statistics.
At OSU, biological information handling and analysis is assisted through a bioinformatics resource facility, BIOinfOSU. BIOinfOSU employs two full-time bioinformaticians, and is working with multiple departments to provide state-of-the-art data solutions for OSU researchers campus wide. BIOinfOSU also cooperates closely with the Recombinant DNA/Protein Resource Facility and the OSU Microarray Core Facility.
BIOinfOSU purchases high-end commercial software and makes it available to the campus through license agreements, using an affordable fee-structure. When open-source or online software is used, the group screens available tools and maintains the best of these tools in the Microarray Core Facility. Bioinformaticians are available for consultation and training on a low-cost fee-recovery system. The first consultations are always free to allow interested parties to begin a new project with confidence.
The BIOinfOSU Web site provides links to a range of bioinformatic resources. Some are locally developed by people associated with the facility and are featured under software tools.
Bioinformatics is a fast-growing area of expertise with a stable job-market for this generation of students.